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The Outsider

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Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931– 5 December 2013) was an English existentialist philosopher-novelist. He also wrote widely on true crime, mysticism and the paranormal, [1] eventually writing more than a hundred books. [2] Wilson called his philosophy "new existentialism" or " phenomenological existentialism", [3] and maintained his life work was "that of a philosopher, and (his) purpose to create a new and optimistic existentialism". [4] Early life [ edit ] Wilson is rather like the headmaster of some apalling school who contrives in his innocence and benevolence, to find a good word on even the most outragous of his pupuls. [The Occult] displays, more fully than any other Wilson bok that I have read since The Outsider, the full array of his amiable virtues.” We can no longer tolerate 24/7 Sunshine. Our moods will show themselves in spite of our best intentions. And if life bites us once, we’re twice shy. We couldn’t make it through a life without rainy days! Now, in my 60s, how do I explain it; what was it about The Outsider? Firstly, the naivety, earnestness and honesty of the young Colin Wilson appealed. I was pretty confused about life and I suppose a good deal of projection was involved; I took on the mantle of outsider as I felt I didn't 'fit in' - I suspect this was true of other fans. I've since read accounts of people regarding the book as somehow 'unhealthy' (almost demonic) - but perhaps this is because it encourages questioning accepted mores! How does the outsider influence society? And how does society influence him? It’s a question as relevant to today’s iconic characters, from Don Draper to Voldemort, as it was when The Outsider was initially published. A fascinating study blending philosophy, psychology, and literature, Wilson’s seminal work is a must-have for those who are fascinated by the character of the outsider.

On 1 July 2016, the First International Colin Wilson Conference took place at the University of Nottingham. A second conference took place at the same venue on 6 July 2018. The Third Conference was held in Nottingham on September 1-3, 2023 which included the premiere of the Figgis-West eight-part documentary film series Colin Wilson: his life and work. Directed and edited by Jason Figgis, the documentary is a detailed study of Wilson's life and work which includes interviews with Uri Geller, Gary Lachman, Tahir Shah, Damon Wilson, Jason Figgis, John West, Martha Rafferty and Philip Pullman. [33] Gollancz was the head of publishers Victor Gollancz Ltd. Wilson was inspired to send the book to him after he found a copy of the publisher's own book A Year of Grace in a second-hand bookshop, which led him to believe that he had found a sympathetic publisher. [3] Contents [ edit ] Stanley, Colin An Evolutionary Leap: Colin Wilson and Psychology, (2016), London: Karnac ISBN 9781782204442

Wilson was also known for what he termed "Existential Criticism", which suggested that a work of art should not just be judged by the principles of literary criticism or theory alone but also by what it has to say, in particular about the meaning and purpose of existence. In his pioneering essay for Chicago Review (Volume 13, no. 2, 1959, pp.152–181) he wrote: Hundreds of people were outside the theatre hoping to get a glance of Marilyn Monroe who was currently in London to appear in the film version of Terrence Rattigan’s play ‘The Sleeping Prince’. It was being directed by and co-starring Lawrence Oliver and eventually would become known as ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’. Marilyn and her husband Arthur Miller had arrived in Britain three months previously in July 1956 after going through a tumultuous few weeks. Not only had they just got married but Miller had recently appeared, three years after his play The Crucible had first been staged, in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee accused of communist sympathies.

Or consider the view that man is a stranger or alien in the world. On the conventional religious view one can understand roughly what is meant by this. Man’s soul, which is separable from his body, is either a fragmented part of the world-soul and must return to the One from which it descended, or, cast into the natural world, its supernatural end is reunion with God, its creator. But if an individual surrenders this view, and, like most of Mr. Wilson’s characters, repudiates the dogmas of immortality and resurrection, what home can he possibly conceive man to have other than the natural world of which he is a part, to be sure a distinctive part, but as dependent upon other existing things as the animals and stones in the field?Colin Wilson Papers (2 document boxes) housed at the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy of the University of California, Riverside Libraries. Includes correspondence by Wilson, galley proofs and manuscripts of Wilson's works in the science fiction genre, material regarding Uri Geller, press clippings, and interviews with Wilson.

On Christmas Day, 1954, alone in his room, he sat down on his bed and began to write in his journal. He described his feelings as follows: Shand, John & Lachman, Gary. Colin Wilson as Philosopher (1996), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-59-4 Son olarak Türk diline bu kitabın neden bu kadar geç girdiğini anlamış değilim. Yayınevi Notos’a ve çok başarılı çevirisini yapan Cihan Barış Özkan’a tekrar teşekkür ediyorum. Stanley, Colin (ed). Reflections on the work of Colin Wilson: Proceedings of the Second International Colin Wilson Conference, University of Nottingham July 6-8, 2018 (2019). Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 978-1-5275-2774-4 Hard to believe? Look at all the bad habits among friends, family... and yourself. Burn out shadows us.


It is not that the “outsider” wants the merely impossible. That would be understandable. One can’t get the moon but if he cries for it long enough he may some day fly there. Strictly speaking, every ideal worthy of man is impossible of complete realization but it can still serve as a guide to choice and action. There is a difference between an ideal that cannot be attained and one that is senseless. An analogous situation holds for the logic of the emotions. One can be sad about the world but one cannot sensibly be indignant with it or shake one’s fist at it unless he believes nature is animate or that it is responsible for its own state. The “outsider” does not believe anyone is responsible for the nature of nature but he is nonetheless in revolt against it. He is a man who, having given up his belief in the existence of God, is still lacerating himself over the problem of evil, unaware that there is no problem of evil to a naturalist but only problems of evil, some remediable, some not; it is not usually possible to determine which is which until human beings pit their courage and intelligence against the obstacles in the struggle to solve them. Wilson followed The Outsider with six philosophical titles, which have become known as The Outsider Cycle: Religion and the Rebel (1957), The Age of Defeat ( The Stature of Man in the U.S., 1959), The Strength to Dream (1962), Origins of the Sexual Impulse (1963), Beyond the Outsider (1965) and the summary volume Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966). These were accompanied by a string of novels aimed at putting his philosophical ideas into action.

Hodder also decided to issue a pamphlet about me and to increase my advance, which troubled me. After 10 years of poor sales, I was afraid it would lose money. But I was proved wrong. The book was not only widely and respectfully reviewed, but sold excellently. So did the US edition, which immediately went into a Book Club edition. Taylor, Brett (2018). "Colin Wilson's Idiosyncratic Literary Legacy". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (2): 54–56.As a child he was so introverted, so uninterested in other people, he might have been diagnosed today with Asperger's syndrome. 'I wouldn't be surprised. I wasn't cut off from other people, but, as I keep saying in The Outsider, other people were the trouble. They kept intruding into my world whether I wanted them to or not, because what they did was to drag me away from the world of ideas and abstractions I wanted to be in. When I was a teenager I was a total romantic escapist. My world was books. I felt as Axel did in the Villiers de L'Isle-Adam play - 'As for living, our servants can do that for us.' But that all changed when I was 16 and discovered Rabelais. Suddenly I had that wonderful feeling - my God, life is good after all!' This farcical uproar ultimately drove Wilson to Cornwall for good. His sequels to The Outsider, Religion and the Rebel, and The Age of Defeat, came out during the next three years. But pressure and isolation had left their marks: his analytical defects were more glaring; moreover he had gone off the boil. Stanley, Colin (ed). Proceedings of the First International Colin Wilson Conference, University of Nottingham, July 1, 2016 (2017) Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 9781443881722 Laura Del Rivo 'The Furnished Room' "Laura Del-Rivo: The Furnished Room". Archived from the original on 29 March 2016 . Retrieved 2 June 2014.

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