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Colin Wilson

Related: epiphany (absurd good news) - existentialism - imagination - British literature - outsider - 1900s literature

Unidentified photograph of Colin Wilson

Titles: The Outsider (1956) - The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders (1988)

When I was in Paris in the early 1950s, Samuel Beckett had just been discovered. Waiting for Godot was on in Paris and I thought ‘What fucking shit! Who is this half-witted Irishman who’s going around saying life’s not worth living? Why doesn’t he just blow his brains out and shut up?’ I felt the same about Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, and later on others such as William Golding. I had always had a passionate feeling that certain people I deeply approved of – like G K Chesterton, who spoke of ‘absurd good news’, for example – and people like Thomas Traherne… the mystics in general, that they were saying that we’re basically blind. --Colin Wilson, 2004


Colin Henry Wilson (born June 26, 1931) is a British writer.

He was born and brought up in Leicester. Wilson left school at 16 and worked at a variety of jobs while reading in his spare time. As a result of his readings he published The Outsider in 1956, which takes a look at certain people's lives (for example, William Blake) and their alienation from their fellow beings and asks 'Why' and concluded that it has to do with the importance of finding an objective religion (sans the dogma, just including what religion is actually fundamentally about) that can be passed down to others without needing a lifetime of study. The book was very successful and was a serious contribution to the popularization of existentialism in Britain. Wilson was labelled as an Angry Young Man, though he had little in common with other members of the group. Wilson also published in 1980 The War Against Sleep: The Philosophy of Gurdjieff, a text concerned with the life, work and philosophy of G. I. Gurdjieff, which forms an accessible introduction to the Greek-Armenian mystic.

On a dare from August Derleth, Colin Wilson wrote 'The Mind Parasites', as another tool to take a look at his own ideas (which suffuse all of his works), putting them in the guise of fiction.

Wilson has also published fiction: Many novels, mostly detective fiction or horror fiction, the latter including several Cthulhu Mythos pieces. He has also written extensively about crime and various metaphysical and occult themes.

One of his novels, The Space Vampires, was made into the movie, Lifeforce, directed by Tobe Hooper. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Henry_Wilson [Sept 2005]

The Books of My life

The problem, quite simply, is that human beings are slaves to the force of habit, and it is habit that tends to confine us in our laziness.  If a Martian psychologist wrote a book about human beings, it would probably have a title like The Pessimistic Animal.  For left to itself, without external stimulus, human consciousness tends to inevitably to degenerate into depression and pessimism.  This is because when we are not involved in some kind of action, consciousness tends to get stuck in boredom, and a boring palace is no better than a boring hovel. --more via here.

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