Aldous Huxley in NDG

To a friend who recently prepared a massive photo exhibition of Montreal graffiti, I mentioned the Italian writer and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini.

For a couple months I had been thinking Pasolini was the subject of the mural at 2290 Girouard Avenue where it intersects Sherbrooke:

aldous huxley graffiti mural

Montreal does not want for graffiti artists.

Turns out my friend’s right, though: the subject of the mural isn’t Pasolini, it’s the author of Brave New World, Ape and Essence, Heaven and Hell, Chrome Yellow, and The Doors of Perception. The graffiti is surely based on a photograph of Huxley that’s freely available on the web.

Aldous Huxley

British author Aldous Huxley.

As you can tell, it’s a beautiful mural. Its pulchritude is hardly diminished by the row of dumpsters chained to the wall, occluding chin and (perhaps?) necktie of the mid-century LSD-advocate and author. Dashing and cerebral, his gaze deeply penetrant, the man pictured here left quite a mark on the century that’s receding year by year. In The Doors of Perception, we read:

cars were rolling by in a steady stream—thousands of them, all bright and shiny like an advertiser’s dream and each more ludicrous than the last. Once again I was convulsed with laughter.

A.H., you’re not forgotten, but live on. Here’s one’s debt to you.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *