Sheryl Crow, Aldous Huxley and being remembered in death

[on reviewing this before I post it, I have every confidence that this thread is going to sink like a freakin’ stone, but here goes - I was curious, okay?]

So I was listening to Sheryl Crow’s first album, first track Run Baby Run and the first line is something like:

The in-joke for this line being the fact that Huxley died on November 22nd, the same day that Kennedy was assasinated.

Huxley, of course, wrote Brave New World, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan and countless other books - he was the son of T.E. Huxley a famous British intellectual - he was basically a nobleman-philosopher-novelist type of British upper class guy. He was highly regarded during his lifetie and yet, as a result of bad timing, his death went largely unnoticed.

Do literate/philosophical Dopers know if Huxley would’ve cared? I guess what I mean is did Huxley himself covet being famous and would he be angry and bitter over being outshadowed? The fact of his being outshadowed is well-known enough to be used in a Sheryl Crow song, fercrissake, but would he have cared?

Just pondering here…

Thank you - move along - no need to dwell on a soon-to-be dead thread…

For what it’s worth C.S. Lewis also died on November 22, 1963 and his death didn’t even get to be a cliche about unnoticed events.

I just Googled to confirm and you’re right! Sonuvagun!

You learn something new every day.

Man, it’s totally crystallized in my memory. I remember right where I was when I heard that C.S. Lewis had died, don’t you? :slight_smile:

I’ve heard that song a million times and didn’t know what the reference was. So in my book, Huxley wasn’t even famous for being overlooked.

Huxley’s legacy is that he was one of the greatest writers, and thinkers, of the twentieth century. I have no doubt whatsoever that his accomplishments would’ve overshadowed his death, even if it had been on a slow news day.

Think of all the historical figures you admire: how important is it what date they died on? Pretty not. Kennedy’s death overshadowed Huxley’s and Lewis’s only because, but the circumstances of his death, it overshadowed EVERYTHING that day, and of course for many days to come.

by the circumstances of his death

I never perview anymore

I hear you and agree, lissener - I guess my point is two-fold:

  • someone of Huxley’s esteem might’ve actively wanted to be remember and would find the situation of his death a bitter pill - I don’t know if that is the case for Huxley; I can just imagine it.

  • when a person is of Huxley’s reknown, their death often leads to a reflection on their contribution to thinking and culture and a solidification of their reputation and key achievements. The timing of his death limited the ability for that to happen. I wonder how Huxley might’ve been regarded if his death “had been allowed to play out” for want of a better term…

My recollection of what I’ve read about him was that he wasn’t particularly concerned with his posterity. He preferred to let his work speak for itself.

I also don’t suspect he was giving too much thought to how he was going to be remembered when he was literally dying. As he was dying, he asked for, and received, a dose of LSD. You can’t get any more out of the way of your own ego than that.

Peter Kreeft wrote a book called “Between Heaven and Hell” that consisted of a Socratic dialogue between Kennedy, Huxley, and Lewis. Kennedy represented Secular Humanists, Huxley Pantheists, and Lewis the good ol’ Catholics. Kennedy and Huxley basically came up with ways to defend their views, and Lewis shot them down.

Don’t bother with it. Really.

Di Vinchi rip-off! :smiley:

Of course, that was a clever pun!

Its really a Galileo Rip-off!

Aldous was actually only the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley (aka "Darwin’s bulldog), who I presume is intended to be the “T.E.” mentioned above. His actual father, Leonard Huxley, has some significance as the one-time editor of the Cornhill Magazine, but is still one of the more obscure members of the family. And while the Huxleys were undoubtedly, though partly by marriage, one of the greatest English intellectual dynasties of the period, they were never “upper class”.

As for the date of Aldous’ death, along with that of C.S. Lewis I’d doubt that I’d ever be able to remember when it was - or, for that matter, greatly care - on exactly what day it was unless it was for the Kennedy coincidence. Speaking as someone who’s read a fair amount of both of them.
In the date of death stakes, they both lucked out.

I think it’s clear that both C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley were murdered in an attempt to cover up the Kennedy Assasination by drawing the public’s attention away from it.

But were they killed by the same bullet?

There were at least three shooters, and one of the bullets came from over the grassy knoll.

If I’m not mistaken, didn’t the same thing happen to Prokofiev-he died the same day as Stalin?

So… three guesses as to how I misread “Cornhill Magazine.”

I don’t know enough about Huxley’s personality to address the OP’s question whether he’d be piqued to have been overlooked by the general public in death, or see it as a cosmic joke. On that same line, would JFK, a man contradicted with both self-deprecating humor and overweening vanity, have minded the fact that the shock and saddness of his death was replaced within a few short weeks by girls screaming at the arrival of the Beatles?

I’ve read that Andy Warhol was bothered less by having been shot than by the fact that it was overshadowed by Bobby Kennedy’s assasination. If Huxley was as much as an obituatry snob as this, it would have shown in his work, as Warhol’s snobbery certainly showed in his.

Given Huxley’s membership in the relatively small world of the British art establishment, he would have been aware of the sad fate of Edward Elgar. When Elgar died in 1934, he was unfairly seen as the musical embodiment of the culture that had doomed the generation of 1914-18, and so his funeral was unattended to the point of insult. Huxley would have made the distinction of being overlooked due to proportion, as in his own case, as opposed to prejudice, as in Elgar’s

bonzer - the miscue on T.H. Lawrence/his grandad are both not nits, but big glaring mistakes - thanks for the catch ('swhat I get for trusting my memory). As for the class of the Huxley’s, I’ll take your word for it - I can’t remember where I got the impression that they were upper class…

Slithy Tove - I agree with your take on the folks you mentioned with one exception - JFK. I was just born at the time, but my parents tell me - and I think I have read it elsewhere - that one reason that the Beatles were received so enthusiastically in the U.S. was because of JFK’s death - the nation needed something to help it out of its funk and the Fab Four’s arrival provided that.

[by the way, I should’ve known Dopers would want to comment on this thread…I knew you wouldn’t let me down sniff :slight_smile: ]

Aldous Huxley

I think that quote’s pretty revealing. Self-deprecatory and also having a higher purpose than appealing to the judgment of posterity.