An exchange of letters between Aldous Huxley and Goddard Lieberson, President of Columbia Records from 1956 to 1971. Thirteen of the letters are either typed or autograph letters, signed, from Huxley, and the last two are autograph letters from Huxley's second wife, Laura. Sixteen carbon copies of Lieberson's typed letters to Huxley are also included, providing both sides of the correspondence. The letters span a significant portion of the end of Huxley's life, from January 11, 1952 to December 11, 1963. Lieberson initially wrote to Huxley asking if he would like to be part of a series of recordings of authors reading their works, which already included Truman Capote and Edith Sitwell. Huxley invited Lieberson to his house, in order to listen to some previous recordings, and the two began a friendship. They decided to record excerpts from Brave New World for the album: "one side being the Preface to Brave New World, the other the chapter on the death of the Savage's mother." In addition to correspondence about the recording contract and other possible recording projects, discussion turned to literature, travel, and music, especially Indian music.In July, 1956, Huxley wrote to Lieberson, asking him, as a favor, to "glance through this script of Brave New World in musical comedy form, which I have just completed." Huxley also asked for suggestions for whom to approach about producing the play and writing the music: "Would Leonard Bernstein be a good man to send it to? Or who else?" Lieberson responded with interest, writing that he would prefer to find a lyricist first and that he would like to send it on to Alan Jay Lerner, who wrote My Fair Lady. Huxley wrote back, saying to hold off on sharing the script, since he wanted to share it with his friend, film producer David Selznik, and had received several letters from a group of people interested in obtaining the rights for a Brave New World musical, unaware that Huxley himself had been working on the script. It does not appear that Huxley's script was ever produced. Another letter from Lieberson, dated June, 1959, was written on behalf of his friend, Thelma Schnee, who was writing a book on the therapeutic use of lysergic acid and wanted to speak with Huxley on the subject; Schnee's book, Myself and I, about her experiences taking LSD as part of treatment for persistent psychological problems, was published in 1962. In the final letters, dated 1961-1963, while Huxley was suffering from cancer, Lieberson offered to send Huxley records of his favorite classical music. Huxley wrote back with a long, enthusiastic list of Bach, Mozart, Verdi, and others, closing by saying, "But I could go on indefinitely and one mustn't be greedy." The last two letters from Laura were written as Huxley's health was failing, thanking Lieberson for sending him music to listen to. In the final letter, dated after Huxley's death, Laura wrote, "You know how Aldous enjoyed music -- it was one of his greatest pleasures and you provided him with it, beautifully -- and both of us are gratefull [sic]." All letters are in fine condition, housed in Mylar sleeves within a binder. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Letters from Aldous Huxley to Goddard ...
Publication Date: 1963
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