A Conversation for Hollywood - The Sign

Under the 'O'

Post 1

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

I have copied and pasted the following from another thread:

>>
I was never sure why I suddenly became so interested in Aldous Huxley a few weeks ago; it was like some outside force had directed me to the little known novel "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan" which has many future echoes of HHGttG and a DNA-like 'fascination/love' for California.

Then of course the aniversary of his death (Nov.22) was upon us and I noted the occassion in this thread and popped other references into a few other conversations. I still wasn't sure why.

At the time I had no idea he had left a widow or that she had (as his dying wish) given him LSD on his deathbed. So I was really surprised to hear she died last week, 44 years after. That's 'many a summer' after. Anyway, still mystified by this 'coincidence', I feel obliged to mention it here now.

"Laura Huxley's house for the last 50-odd years stood below the first "O" in the fabled "HOLLYWOOD" sign in Los Angeles. The garden was a profusion of triffid-like foliage..."

There are many other amazing comments and observations in the following pages found in some of the 13,500 google search results of her obituary notices:

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q...widow+dies&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

I think I'll swan off now.
smiley - cheers
~jwf~

<<


Under the 'O'

Post 2

ÅçïÐßåth© H2G2-you can check out but you'll never leave!

wotcha John, hope this post finds you well. Just beamed in to say hi and got compleatly sidetracked googling Mrs H...So ta!
I've never read AH, did'nt even know he'd written a comic novel, so maybe "After Many A Summer Dies the Swan" would be a good place to start.
absmiley - smiley


Under the 'O'

Post 3

Fizzymouse- no place like home



How very interesting jwl, I had no idea about this when I was writing the entry, but it's good of you to post it here. Thank you.smiley - cheers


smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 4

ITIWBS

smiley - mouseI'm reminded of a remote mountain community in southern California where I used to live when I was a boy. The local library was a little nine by twelve foot cabin set in a secluded spot in the woods, operated on the honor system, no librarian in attendance, one signed out one's own books and signed them back in when done. One day I was browsing there and found a book with an Aldous Huxley signature on the flyleaf. I knew there had to be a story behind that. Turned out that Huxley had been a resident back in the pre WW II years and had donated the cabin and many of the books to the local community when he left.smiley - esuom


Under the 'O'

Post 5

Fizzymouse- no place like home



What a lovely story, and how cool is that to have found a book he'd read.smiley - cool


Only in America eh!smiley - winkeye



smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 6

ITIWBS

I think that his book which was most meaningful for me was "Antic Hay", based on the experiences of his youth, comparable to Michener's "The Fires of Spring". The one I remember most vividly is his last novel, "Island".


Under the 'O'

Post 7

Fizzymouse- no place like home


I'm ashamed to say I've never read him, but I think his later works would have been too heavy for me anyhow ... smiley - erm I'm a bit of a light-weight when it comes to literature.smiley - winkeye


Still, an interesting man with an interesting life.smiley - cool



smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 8

ITIWBS

I've got a rough sketch for a comparison and contrast Huxley's "Heaven and Hell" (his book on his first mescaline experiments) and Lederer & Burdick's "The Ugly American" (on the early Viet Nam era). Though the two books have virtually nothing in common in terms of thematic content, structurally they're very similar, especially on the point of a loss of focus on the key point the authors initially set out to make, with, ironically, an explanation for that similarity in the physiological material from Huxley's book.

On the drugs issue, though I'm a keen student of the authoritative literature, I'm personally in the Richard Feynman school. He remarked that when the LSD craze swept Cal Tech, he refused to have anything to do with it since he was afraid it might injure his brain. Pity we didn't have PET scan technology yet back during the sixties and early seventies.

On the cabin in the woods, it was probably built by Franklin Zahn, a Cal Tech graduate and social activist who spent the WW II years in detention as a conscientious objector. Huxley and Zahn were living during that period in a religious ashram, the site of which had been deeded over to the California State school system by the time I was living in the community and it is the site of an elementary school today. It was a pretty highly varied community, with the Patton estate just up the road, but small enough that all the grades from kindergarten through the eighth grade were being taught by one teacher in a two room bungalow at the time.


Under the 'O'

Post 9

Fizzymouse- no place like home



Thanks for all the information .... that little schoolhouse sounds like Little House on the Prairie to me, I imagine you wish you'd taken photos of it now.smiley - bigeyes


Did you appreciate it while you were there ... or did that come with hindsight.smiley - smiley



smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 10

ITIWBS

My photos from that period are lost. The school itself was not picturesque, a standard two room bungalow for the period such as would be found on any California elementary school campus, only in greater numbers as a rule, and it probably is still there.

The community itself is set in one of the most pristine wilderness areas southern California has to offer, a restricted area with a permit required to enter, and I do still occasionally get back there when I need a quiet place to unwind a little.


Under the 'O'

Post 11

Fizzymouse- no place like home



It sounds like heaven ..... do you write stories about it - I'd certainly read them .... you paint a lovely picture.smiley - zen


What is ordinary to you is quite exceptional to others and the wilderness is something I could only dream of - a sort of America we don't hear enough about in my opinion.smiley - winkeye


smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 12

ITIWBS

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that it was getting difficult to find a genuinely remote and secluded spot in Great Britain, 1950s material, when the population was still only about 20 million. California passed that mark back in 1990, most of the population concentrated in southern California and it is only with difficulty that some of the wilderness areas there are still being maintained.

I intend soon to do some writing for the guide, and have several themes in mind.

I need to start prepping tonight for medical work I have coming up over the weekend, but will hopefully soon have the time to write a few serious journal entries.


Under the 'O'

Post 13

Fizzymouse- no place like home




Mr Clarke was spot on once again but being an very small island we wouldn't stand a look in wilderness wise with the USA .... the mind boggles smiley - bigeyes


If you don't mind I'll keep my eye out for your journals ... smiley - winkeye


smiley - goodluck with your prep.



smiley - mouse


Under the 'O'

Post 14

ITIWBS

I must admit I've fallen in love with h2g2.smiley - esuom


Under the 'O'

Post 15

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

Yeah, that'll happen. smiley - ok
Especially when one is able to post 'important' trivia like my post #1, then go away and come back and discover conversations flowering like this one.

smiley - cheers
~jwf~


Under the 'O'

Post 16

Fizzymouse- no place like home


That's what sucks us all into this cyber blackhole ..... then we find we can't get out.smiley - yikes


smiley - mouse


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