Colin Wilson
Colin Wilson
colin wilson, colin wilson books, colin wilson the occult, colin wilson the outsider, colin wilson space vampires, colin wilson jersey, colin wilson mind parasites, colin wilson mysteries, colin wilson shaw, colin wilson poetry mysticism.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Colin Wilson
Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931 – 5 December 2013) was an English writer, philosopher and novelist. He also wrote widely on true crime, mysticism and

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For other uses, see Colin Wilson (disambiguation).

Colin Wilson Wilson in Cornwall, 1984Born Colin Henry Wilson
(1931-06-26)26 June 1931
Leicester, Leicestershire, EnglandDied 5 December 2013(2013-12-05) (aged 82)
St Austell, Cornwall, EnglandOccupation WriterNationality BritishPeriod Active: 1956–2013, 20th centuryGenre
  • Non-fiction
  • Fiction
  • Paranormal
  • Existentialism
  • Positive psychology
Literary movement Angry young menNotable works
  • The Outsider
  • The Occult: A History

Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931 – 5 December 2013) was an English writer, philosopher and 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]

Contents
  • 1 Early life
  • 2 The Outsider
  • 3 Career
    • 3.1 Non-fiction writing
    • 3.2 Fiction
  • 4 Adaptations
  • 5 Illness and death
  • 6 Reception
  • 7 Bibliography
    • 7.1 Fiction
    • 7.2 Non-fiction
    • 7.3 Plays
    • 7.4 Unpublished works
  • 8 References
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links
    • 10.1 Interviews
Early life

Wilson was born on 26 June 1931 in Leicester,[5] the first child of Arthur and Annetta Wilson. His father worked in a shoe factory.[6] At the age of eleven he attended Gateway Secondary Technical School, where his interest in science began to blossom. By the age of 14 he had compiled a multi-volume work of essays covering many aspects of science entitled A Manual of General Science. But by the time he left school at sixteen, his interests were already switching to literature. His discovery of George Bernard Shaw's work, particularly Man and Superman, was a landmark. He started to write stories, plays, and essays in earnest – a long "sequel" to Man and Superman made him consider himself to be 'Shaw's natural successor.' After two unfulfilling jobs – one as a laboratory assistant at his old school – he drifted into the Civil Service, but found little to occupy his time. In the autumn of 1949, he was drafted into the Royal Air Force but soon found himself clashing with authority, eventually feigning homosexuality in order to be dismissed. Upon leaving he took up a succession of menial jobs, spent some time wandering around Europe, and finally returned to Leicester in 1951. There he married his first wife, (Dorothy) Betty Troop, and moved to London, where a son was born. But the marriage rapidly disintegrated as he drifted in and out of several jobs. During this traumatic period, Wilson was continually working and reworking the novel that was eventually published as Ritual in the Dark (1960).[7] He also met three young writers who became close friends – Bill Hopkins, Stuart Holroyd and Laura Del Rivo.[8] Another trip to Europe followed, and he spent some time in Paris attempting to sell magazine subscriptions. Returning to Leicester again, he met Joy Stewart – later to become his second wife and mother of their three children – who accompanied him to London. There he continued to work on Ritual in the Dark, receiving some advice from Angus Wilson (no relation) – then deputy superintendent of the British Museum's Reading Room – and slept rough (in a sleeping bag) on Hampstead Heath to save money.[9]

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:

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It struck me that I was in the position of so many of my favourite characters in fiction: Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov, Rilke's Malte Laurids Brigge, the young writer in Hamsun's Hunger: alone in my room, feeling totally cut off from the rest of society. It was not a position I relished . . . Yet an inner compulsion had forced me into this position of isolation. I began writing about it in my journal, trying to pin it down. And then, quite suddenly, I saw that I had the makings of a book. I turned to the back of my journal and wrote at the head of the page: 'Notes for a book The Outsider in Literature'

The Outsider Main article: The Outsider (Colin Wilson)

Gollancz published the 24-year-old Wilson's The Outsider in 1956. The work examines the role of the social "outsider" in seminal works by various key literary and cultural figures – such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William James, T. E. Lawrence, Vaslav Nijinsky and Vincent van Gogh – and discusses Wilson's perception of social alienation in their work. The book became a best-seller and helped popularise existentialism in Britain.[10] It has never been out of print and has been published into more than thirty languages.

The back cover of the 2001 paperback edition reads:

Wilson rationalized the psychological dislocation so characteristic of Western creative thinking into a coherent theory of alienation, and defined those affected by it as a type: the Outsider. Through the works of various artists... Wilson explored the psyche of the Outsider, his effect on society and society's on him. Nothing has happened in the past four decades that has made The Outsider any less relevant...

Career Non-fiction writing

Wilson became associated with the "angry young men" of British literature. He contributed to Declaration, an anthology of manifestos by writers associated with the movement, and was also anthologised in a popular paperback sampler, Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men.[11][12] Some viewed Wilson and his friends Bill Hopkins and Stuart Holroyd as a sub-group of the "Angries", more concerned with "religious values" than with liberal or socialist politics.[13] Critics on the left swiftly labelled them as fascist; commentator Kenneth Allsop called them "the law givers".[13][14]

The success of The Outsider notwithstanding, Wilson's second book, Religion and the Rebel (1957), was universally panned by critics although Wilson himself acknowledged it to be a more comprehensive book than the first one. While "The Outsider" was focused on documenting the subject of mental strain and near-insanity, Religion and the Rebel was focused on how to expand our consciousness and transform us into visionaries. Time magazine published a review, headlined "Scrambled Egghead", that pilloried the book.[15] Undaunted, Wilson continued to expound his positive "new" existentialism in the six philosophical books known as "The Outsider Cycle", all written within the first ten years of his literary career. These books were summarised by Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966). When the book was re-printed in 1980 as The New Existentialism, Wilson wrote: "If I have contributed anything to existentialism – or, for that matter, to twentieth century thought in general, here it is. I am willing to stand or fall by it."

In The Age of Defeat (1959) – book 3 of "The Outsider Cycle" – he bemoaned the loss of the hero in twentieth century life and literature; convinced that we were becoming embroiled in what he termed "the fallacy of insignificance". It was this theory that encouraged celebrated American psychologist Abraham Maslow to contact him in 1963. The two corresponded regularly and met on several occasions before Maslow's death in 1970. Wilson wrote a biography and assessment of Maslow's work, New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow and the Post-Freudian Revolution, based on audiotapes that Maslow had provided, which was published in 1972. Maslow's observation of "peak experiences" in his students – those sudden moments of overwhelming happiness that we all experience from time to time – provided Wilson with an important clue in his search for the mechanism that might control the Outsider's "moments of vision". Maslow, however, was convinced that peak experiences could not be induced; Colin Wilson thought otherwise and, indeed, in later books like Access to Inner Worlds (1983) and Super Consciousness (2009), suggested how they could be induced at will.

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:

No art can be judged by purely aesthetic standards, although a painting or a piece of music may appear to give a purely aesthetic pleasure. Aesthetic enjoyment is an intensification of the vital response, and this response forms the basis of all value judgements. The existentialist contends that all values are connected with the problems of human existence, the stature of man, the purpose of life. These values are inherent in all works of art, in addition to their aesthetic values, and are closely connected with them.

He went on to write several more essays and books on the subject. Among the latter were The Strength to Dream (1962), Eagle and Earwig (1965), Poetry and Mysticism (1970) The Craft of the Novel (1975), The Bicameral Critic (1985) and The Books In My Life (1998). He also applied existential criticism to many of the hundreds of book reviews he wrote for journals including Books & Bookmen, The Literary Review, The London Magazine, John O'London's, The Spectator and The Aylesford Review throughout his career. Some of these were gathered together in a book entitled Existential Criticism: selected book reviews, published in 2009.

By the late 1960s Wilson had become increasingly interested in metaphysical and occult themes. In 1971, he published The Occult: A History, featuring interpretations on Aleister Crowley, George Gurdjieff, Helena Blavatsky, Kabbalah, primitive magic, Franz Mesmer, Grigori Rasputin, Daniel Dunglas Home and Paracelsus, among others. He also wrote a markedly unsympathetic biography of Crowley, Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast, and has written biographies on other spiritual and psychological visionaries, including Gurdjieff, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, Rudolf Steiner, and P. D. Ouspensky.

Originally, Wilson focused on the cultivation of what he called "Faculty X", which he saw as leading to an increased sense of meaning, and on abilities such as telepathy and the awareness of other energies. In his later work he suggests the possibility of life after death and the existence of spirits, which he personally analyses as an active member of the Ghost Club.

He also wrote non-fiction books on crime, ranging from encyclopedias to studies of serial killing. He had an ongoing interest in the life and times of Jack the Ripper and in sex crime in general.

Fiction

Wilson explored his ideas on human potential and consciousness in fiction, mostly detective fiction or science fiction, including several Cthulhu Mythos pieces; often writing a non-fiction work and a novel concurrently – as a way of putting his ideas into action. He wrote:

For me is a manner of philosophizing....Philosophy may be only a shadow of the reality it tries to grasp, but the novel is altogether more satisfactory. I am almost tempted to say that no philosopher is qualified to do his job unless he is also a novelist....I would certainly exchange any of the works of Whitehead or Wittgenstein for the novels they ought to have written"[16]

Like some of his non-fiction work, many of Wilson's novels from Ritual in the Dark (1960) onwards have been concerned with the psychology of murder—especially that of serial killing. However, he has also written science fiction of a philosophical bent, including The Mind Parasites (1967), The Philosopher's Stone (1969), The Space Vampires (1976) and the four-volume Spider-World series: Spider World: The Tower (1987), Spider World: the Delta (1987), Spider World: The Magician (1992) and Spider World: Shadowland (2003); novels described by one critic as "an artistic achievement of the highest order... destined to be regarded to be one of the central products of the twentieth century imagination."[17]

In The Strength to Dream (1961) Wilson attacked H. P. Lovecraft as "sick" and as "a bad writer" who had "rejected reality"—but he grudgingly praised Lovecraft's story "The Shadow Out of Time" as capable science fiction. August Derleth, incensed by Wilson's treatment of Lovecraft in The Strength to Dream, then dared Wilson to write what became The Mind Parasites—to expound his philosophical ideas in the guise of fiction.[18] In the preface to The Mind Parasites, Wilson concedes that Lovecraft, "far more than Hemingway or Faulkner, or even Kafka, is a symbol of the outsider-artist in the 20th century" and asks: "what would have happened if Lovecraft had possessed a private income—enough, say, to allow him to spend his winters in Italy and his summers in Greece or Switzerland?" answering that in his opinion "e would undoubtedly have produced less, but what he did produce would have been highly polished, without the pulp magazine cliches that disfigure so much of his work. And he would have given free rein to his love of curious and remote erudition, so that his work would have been, in some respect, closer to that of Anatole France or the contemporary Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges".[19] Wilson also discusses Lovecraft in Order of Assassins (1972) and in the prefatory note to The Philosopher's Stone (1969). His short novel The Return of the Lloigor (1969/1974) also has roots in the Cthulhu Mythos – its central character works on the real book the Voynich manuscript, but discovers it to be a mediaeval Arabic version of the Necronomicon – as does his 2002 novel The Tomb of the Old Ones.

Adaptations

Tobe Hooper directed the film Lifeforce, based on Wilson's novel The Space Vampires.[20] After its release, Colin Wilson recalled that author John Fowles regarded the film adaptation of Fowles' own novel The Magus as the worst film adaptation of a novel ever. Wilson told Fowles there was now a worse one.[21] A film of his 1961 novel Adrift in Soho by director Pablo Behrens is due to be released by Burning Films in 2018.

Illness and death

After a major spinal operation in 2011,[22] Wilson suffered a stroke and lost his ability to speak.[23] He was admitted to hospital in October 2013 for pneumonia. He died on 5 December 2013 and is buried in the churchyard at Gorran Churchtown.[5] A memorial service for him was held at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London, on 14 October 2014.

Reception

Howard F. Dossor wrote: "Wilson constitutes one of the most significant challenges to twentieth-century critics. It seems most likely that critics analysing his work in the middle of the twenty-first century, will be puzzled that his contemporaries paid such inadequate attention to him. But it is not merely for their sake that he should be examined. Critics who turn to him will find themselves involved in the central questions of our age and will be in touch with a mind that has disclosed an extraordinary resilience in addressing them."[24]

Critic Nicolas Tredell writes: "The twenty-first century may look back on Colin Wilson as one of the novelists who foresaw the future of fiction, and something, perhaps, of the future of man."[25]

Science writer Martin Gardner saw Wilson as an intelligent writer but duped by paranormal claims. He once commented that "Colin bought it all. With unparalleled egotism and scientific ignorance he believed almost everything he read about the paranormal, no matter how outrageous." Gardner described Wilson's book The Geller Phenomenon as "the most gullible book ever written about the Israeli charlatan". Gardner concluded that Wilson had decayed into an "occult eccentric" writing books for the "lunatic fringe".[26]

The psychologist Dorothy Rowe gave Wilson's book Men of Mystery a negative review and wrote that it "does nothing to advance research into the paranormal".[27]

Benjamin Radford has written that Wilson had a "bias toward mystery-mongering" and that he ignored scientific and skeptical arguments on some of the topics he wrote about. Radford described Wilson's book The Mammoth Encyclopedia of the Unsolved as "riddled with errors and obfuscating omissions, betraying a bizarre disregard for accuracy".[28]

In 2016 the first full-length biography of Wilson, reviewing his entire life's work, Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson, by Gary Lachman, appeared. It received a positive endorsement from Philip Pullman, who wrote that "Wilson was always far better and more interesting than fashionable opinion claimed, and in Lachman he has found a biographer who can respond to the whole range of his work with sympathy and understanding, in a style which, like Wilson's own, is always immensely readable." Michael Dirda in The Washington Post called Wilson a "controversial writer who explored the nature of human consciousness in dozens of books" and said that Lachman, a "leading student of the western esoteric tradition, writes with "exceptional grace, forcefulness, and clarity."[29] Brett Taylor "enjoyed" the biography, but said that "a more critical author might have written a book that argued for the subject's worth in a broader and more convincing context. Lachman displays credulity on occult matters and an admiration for Wilson's sometimes dodgy philosophy."[30]

On 1 July 2016 the 'First International Colin Wilson Conference' was held at the University of Nottingham. The 'Second International Colin Wilson Conference' will take place at the same venue on July 6, 2018.[31]

Bibliography Fiction Main article: Bibliography of Colin Wilson
  • "The Frenchman" (short story, Evening Standard 22 August 1957)
  • Ritual in the Dark (Victor Gollancz, 1960) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013)
  • Adrift in Soho (1961)
  • "Watching the Bird" (short story, Evening News 12 September 1961)
  • "Uncle Tom and the Police Constable" (short story, Evening News 23 October 1961)
  • "He Could not Fail" (short story, Evening News 29 December 1961)
  • "Uncle and the Lion" (short story, Evening News 28 September 1962)
  • "Hidden Bruise" (short story, Evening News 3 December 1962)
  • "The Wooden Cubes" (short story, Evening News 27 June 1963)
  • Man Without a Shadow (US title The Sex Diary of Gerard Sorme) (1963) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013)
  • The World of Violence (US title The Violent World of Hugh Greene) (1963) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013)
  • Necessary Doubt (1964) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2014)
  • The Glass Cage (1966) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2014)
  • The Mind Parasites (1967)
  • The Philosopher's Stone (1969) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013)
  • The Return of the Lloigor (first published 1969 in the anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; revised separate edition, Village Press, London, 1974).
  • "The Return of the Lloigor" (short story in Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, edited by August Derleth, 1969; later revised and published as a separate book)
  • The God of the Labyrinth (US title The Hedonists) (1970) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013)
  • The Killer (US title Lingard) (1970)
  • The Black Room (1971)
  • The Schoolgirl Murder Case (1974)
  • The Space Vampires (1976)
  • "Timeslip" (short story in Aries I, edited by John Grant, 1979)
  • "A Novelization of Events in the Life and Death of Grigori Efimovich Rasputin," in Tales of the Uncanny (Reader's Digest Association, 1983; an abbreviated version of the later The Magician from Siberia)
  • The Janus Murder Case (1984)
  • The Personality Surgeon (1985)
  • Spider World: The Tower (1987)
  • Spider World: The Delta (1987)
  • The Magician from Siberia (1988)
  • Spider World: The Magician (1992)
  • The Tomb of the Old Ones (novella published as half of a double volume alongside a novella by John Grant, 2002)
  • Spider World: Shadowland (2002)
  • Lulu: an unfinished novel (2017)
Non-fiction
  • The Outsider (1956)
  • Religion and the Rebel (1957)
  • The Age of Defeat (US title The Stature of Man) (1959)
  • Encyclopedia of Murder (with Patricia Pitman, 1961)
  • The Strength to Dream: Literature and the Imagination (1962)
  • Origins of the Sexual Impulse (1963)
  • Rasputin and the Fall of the Romanovs (1964)
  • Brandy of the Damned (1964; later expanded and reprinted as Chords and Discords/Colin Wilson on Music)
  • Beyond the Outsider (1965)
  • Eagle and Earwig (1965)
  • Sex and the Intelligent Teenager (1966)
  • Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966)
  • Voyage to a Beginning (1969)
  • A Casebook of Murder (1969)
  • Bernard Shaw: A Reassessment (1969)
  • Poetry and Mysticism (1969; subsequently significantly expanded in 1970)
  • L'amour: The Ways of Love (1970)
  • The Strange Genius of David Lindsay (with E. H. Visiak and J. B. Pick, 1970)
  • The Occult: A History (1971)
  • Order of Assassins: The Psychology of Murder (1972)
  • New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow and the Post-Freudian Revolution (1972)
  • Strange Powers (1973)
  • "Tree" by Tolkien (1973)
  • Hermann Hesse (1974)
  • Wilhelm Reich (1974)
  • Jorge Luis Borges (1974)
  • Hesse-Reich-Borges: Three Essays (1974)
  • Ken Russell: A Director in Search of a Hero (1974)
  • A Book of Booze (1974)
  • The Unexplained (1975)
  • Mysterious Powers (US title They Had Strange Powers) (1975)
  • The Craft of the Novel (1975)
  • Enigmas and Mysteries (1975)
  • The Geller Phenomenon (1975), ISBN 0-7172-8105-1
  • Colin Wilson's Men of Mystery (US title Dark Dimensions) (with various authors, 1977)
  • Mysteries (1978)
  • Mysteries of the Mind (with Stuart Holroyd, 1978)
  • The Haunted Man: The Strange Genius of David Lindsay (1979)
  • Science Fiction as Existentialism (1980)
  • Frankenstein's Castle: the Right Brain-Door to Wisdom (1980)
  • Starseekers (1980)
  • The Book of Time, edited by John Grant and Colin Wilson (1980)
  • The War Against Sleep: The Philosophy of Gurdjieff (1980)
  • The Directory of Possibilities, edited by Colin Wilson and John Grant (1981)
  • Poltergeist!: A Study in Destructive Haunting (1981)
  • Anti-Sartre, with an Essay on Camus (1981)
  • The Quest for Wilhelm Reich (1981)
  • The Goblin Universe (with Ted Holiday, 1982)
  • Access to Inner Worlds: The Story of Brad Absetz (1983)
  • Encyclopedia of Modern Murder, 1962–83 (1983)
  • The Psychic Detectives: The Story of Psychometry and Paranormal Crime Detection (1984)
  • A Criminal History of Mankind (1984), revised and updated (2005)
  • Lord of the Underworld: Jung and the Twentieth Century (1984)
  • The Bicameral Critic (1985)
  • The Essential Colin Wilson (1985)
  • Rudolf Steiner: The Man and His Vision (1985)
  • Afterlife: An Investigation of the Evidence of Life After Death (1985)
  • An Encyclopedia of Scandal. Edited by Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman (1986)
  • The Book of Great Mysteries. Edited by Colin Wilson and Christopher Evans (1986), ISBN 0948164263
  • An Essay on the 'New' Existentialism (1988)
  • The Laurel and Hardy Theory of Consciousness (1986)
  • Marx Refuted – The Verdict of History, edited by Colin Wilson (with contributions also) and Ronald Duncan, Bath, (UK), (1987), ISBN 0-906798-71-X
  • Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast (1987)
  • The Musician as 'Outsider'. (1987)
  • The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries (with Damon Wilson, 1987)
  • Jack the Ripper: Summing Up and Verdict (with Robin Odell, 1987)
  • Autobiographical Reflections (1988)
  • The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders (1988)
  • Beyond the Occult (1988)
  • The Mammoth Book of True Crime (1988)
  • The Decline and Fall of Leftism (1989)
  • Written in Blood: A History of Forensic Detection (1989)
  • Existentially Speaking: Essays on the Philosophy of Literature (1989)
  • Serial Killers: A Study in the Psychology of Violence (1990)
  • Mozart's Journey to Prague (1992)
  • The Strange Life of P.D. Ouspensky (1993)
  • Unsolved Mysteries (with Damon Wilson, 1993)
  • Outline of the Female Outsider (1994)
  • A Plague of Murder (1995)
  • From Atlantis to the Sphinx (1996)
  • An Extraordinary Man in the Age of Pigmies: Colin Wilson on Henry Miller (1996)
  • The Unexplained Mysteries of the Universe (1997) ISBN 0-7513-5983-1
  • The Atlas of Sacred Places (1997)
  • Below the Iceberg: Anti-Sartre and Other Essays (reissue with essays on postmodernism, 1998)
  • The Corpse Garden (1998)
  • The Books in My Life (1998)
  • Alien Dawn (1999)
  • The Devil's Party (US title Rogue Messiahs) (2000)
  • The Atlantis Blueprint (with Rand Flem-Ath, 2000)
  • Illustrated True Crime: A Photographic History (2002)
  • Dreaming To Some Purpose (2004) – autobiography
  • World Famous UFOs (2005)
  • Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals (2006)
  • Crimes of Passion: The Thin Line Between Love and Hate (2006)
  • The Angry Years: The Rise and Fall of the Angry Young Men (2007)
  • Manhunters: Criminal Profilers & Their Search for the World's Most Wanted Serial Killers (2007)
  • Super Consciousness (2009)
  • Existential Criticism: selected book reviews (edited by Colin Stanley) (2009)
  • 'Comments on Boredom' and 'Evolutionary Humanism and the New Psychology' (2013)
  • Introduction to 'The Faces of Evil': an unpublished book (2013)
  • An End to Murder (with Damon Wilson, 2015)
  • Collected Essays on Philosophers (edited by Colin Stanley, 2016)
Plays
  • Strindberg (1970)
  • The Death of God and other plays (edited by Colin Stanley) (2008)
Unpublished works
  • The Anatomy of Human Greatness (non-fiction, written 1964; Maurice Bassett plans to publish this work electronically)
  • Metamorphosis of the Vampire (fiction, written 1992–94)[32]
References
  1. ^ "Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider, dies aged 82" Archived 4 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine. BBC News, 13 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  2. ^ Gary Lachman, Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson, Penguin (2016), xiv
  3. ^ Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966), p.9
  4. ^ Quote from Philosophy Now, Obituary of Colin Wilson, here (link) Archived 4 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine., accessed March 2014.
  5. ^ a b Williamson, Marcus (8 December 2013). "Colin Wilson: Author (Obituary)". The Independent. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Colin Wilson, Dreaming to Some Purpose (Arrow, 2005)
  7. ^ Colin Wilson's 'Ritual in the Dark' "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  8. ^ Laura Del Rivo 'The Furnished Room' "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-06-02. 
  9. ^ Desert Island Discs Archive: 1976–1980
  10. ^ Kenneth Allsop, The Angry Decade; A Survey of the Cultural Revolt of the Nineteen Fifties. London: Peter Owen Ltd.
  11. ^ Maschler, Tom (editor) (1957). Declaration. London: MacGibbon and Kee. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  12. ^ Feldman, Gene and Gartneberg, Max (editors) (1958). Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men. New York: Citadel Press. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ a b Allsop, Kenneth (1958). The Angry Decade; A Survey of the Cultural Revolt of the Nineteen Fifties. London: Peter Owen Ltd. 
  14. ^ Holroyd, Stuart (1975). Contraries: A Personal Progression. London: The Bodley Head Ltd. 
  15. ^ Colin Wilson, The Angry Years Robson Books, 2007
  16. ^ Voyage to a Beginning (Cecil Woolf, 1968, p. 160-1)
  17. ^ Howard F Dossor: Colin Wilson: the man and his mind, Element, 1990, p. 284
  18. ^ Wilson, Colin (2005). The Mind Parasites (original preface). Monkfish. p. xvii. 
  19. ^ Wilson, Colin (1975). The Mind Parasites. Oneiric Press. p. 112. 
  20. ^ Mitchell, Charles P. (2001). A guide to apocalyptic cinema. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 112. 
  21. ^ Wilson, Colin (2005). Dreaming to Some Purpose. Monkfish. p. chapter 20. 
  22. ^ "COLIN WILSON DIES AT 82". Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Quietus – Anthony Reynolds Discusses Colin Wilson". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Howard F. Dossor Colin Wilson: the Man and His Mind (1990) Element Books, pp 318–319. ISBN 1-85230-176-7
  25. ^ Nicolas Tredell Novels to Some Purpose: the fiction of Colin Wilson (2015) Paupers' Press, . ISBN 9780956866363
  26. ^ Gardner, Martin (1984). Order and Surprise. Oxford University Press. pp. 361–364. ISBN 0-19-286051-8
  27. ^ Rowe, Dorothy (26 January 1981). "Men of mystery". New Scientist. London. pp. 231–232. 
  28. ^ Radford, Benjamin (2013). "Colin Wilson: A Case Study in Mystery Mongering" Archived 27 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2014-03-16.
  29. ^ "Ufos, alien abductions, the occult: to one man, the building blocks of scholarship" Michael Dirda The Washington Post 31 August 2016.
  30. ^ Taylor, Brett (2018). "Colin Wilson's Idiosyncratic Literary Legacy". Skeptical Inquirer. 42 (2): 54–56. 
  31. ^ http://pauperspress.co.uk/conference.html
  32. ^ This bibliography, while extensive, does not list all of Wilson's work. For a complete bibliography see Colin Stanley's The Ultimate Colin Wilson Bibliography, 1956–2015. Nottingham, UK: Paupers' Press, 2011 (ISBN 9780956866356)
Further reading
  • Bendau, Clifford P. Colin Wilson: The Outsider and Beyond (1979), San Bernardino: Borgo Press ISBN 0-89370-229-3
  • Campion, Sidney R. The Sound Barrier: a study of the ideas of Colin Wilson (2011), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-81-0
  • Dalgleish, Tim The Guerilla Philosopher: Colin Wilson and Existentialism (1993), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-47-0
  • Dossor, Howard F. Colin Wilson: the bicameral critic: selected shorter writings (1985), Salem: Salem House ISBN 0-88162-047-5
  • Dossor, Howard F. Colin Wilson: the man and his mind (1990) Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element Books ISBN 1-85230-176-7
  • Dossor, Howard F. The Philosophy of Colin Wilson: three perspectives (1996), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-58-6
  • Greenwell, Tom. Chepstow Road: a literary comedy in two acts (2002) Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-78-0
  • Lachman, Gary. Beyond the Robot: the life and work of Colin Wilson (2016) New York: TarcherPerigee ISBN 9780399173080
  • Lachman, Gary. Two essays on Colin Wilson (1994), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-52-7
  • Moorhouse, John & Newman, Paul. Colin Wilson, two essays (1988), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-11-X
  • Newman, Paul. Murder as an Antidote for Boredom: the novels of Laura Del Rivo, Colin Wilson and Bill Hopkins (1996), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-57-8
  • Robertson, Vaughan. Wilson as Mystic (2001), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-74-8
  • Salwak, Dale (ed). Interviews with Britain's Angry Young Men (1984) San Bernardino: Borgo Press ISBN 0-89370-259-5
  • Shand, John & Lachman, Gary. Colin Wilson as Philosopher (1996), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-59-4
  • Smalldon, Jeffrey. Human Nature Stained: Colin Wilson and the existential study of modern murder (1991) Nottingham: Paupers'Press ISBN 0-946650-28-4
  • Spurgeon, Brad. Colin Wilson: philosopher of optimism, (2006), Manchester: Michael Butterworth ISBN 0-9552672-0-X
  • Stanley, Colin An Evolutionary Leap: Colin Wilson and Psychology, (2016), London: Karnac ISBN 9781782204442
  • Stanley, Colin (ed). Around the Outsider: essays presented to Colin Wilson on the occasion of his 80th birthday, (2011), Winchester: O-Books ISBN 978-1-84694-668-4
  • Stanley, Colin (ed). Colin Wilson, a celebration: essays and recollections (1988), London: Cecil Woolf ISBN 0-900821-91-4
  • Stanley, Colin. The Ultimate Colin Wilson Bibliography 1956–2015 (2015) Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 9780956866356
  • Stanley, Colin. Colin Wilson's Existential Literary Criticism: a guide for students (2014). Nottingham: Paupers' Press. ISBN 9780956866349
  • Stanley, Colin. Colin Wilson's 'Occult Trilogy': a guide for students (2013). Alresford: Axis Mundi Books. ISBN 9781846947063
  • Stanley, Colin. Colin Wilson's 'Outsider Cycle': a guide for students (2009). Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-96-9
  • Stanley, Colin. The Nature of Freedom' and other essays (1990), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-17-9
  • Stanley, Colin (ed). Proceedings of the First International Colin Wilson Conference (2017) Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. ISBN 9781443881722
  • Stanley, Colin. The Writing of Colin Wilson's 'Adrift in Soho' (2016) ISBN 9780956866370
  • Tredell, Nicolas. The Novels of Colin Wilson (1982) London: Vision Press ISBN 0-85478-035-1
  • Tredell, Nicolas. Novels to Some Purpose: the fiction of Colin Wilson(2015) ISBN 9780956866363
  • Trowell, Michael. Colin Wilson, the positive approach (1990), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-25-X
  • Weigel, John A. Colin Wilson (1975) Boston: Twayne Publishers ISBN 0-8057-1575-4
External links Wikiquote has quotations related to: Colin Wilson
  • Colin Wilson on IMDb
  • 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.
  • The Colin Wilson Collection at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom – This is Wilson's bibliographer Colin Stanley's collection of books, articles, manuscripts, letters, photographs and assorted ephemera now at the University of Nottingham. Regularly updated by Stanley. Now contains, by arrangement with the Colin Wilson Estate, about 80 original manuscripts.
  • Colin Wilson World – "an appreciation" with some Wilson contributions
  • The Colin Wilson Page at Internet Archive (archived 2008-09-14)
  • Abraxas– Wilson-related journal
  • The Phenomenology of Excess – a multimedia Wilson site, approved by its subject
  • Harry Ritchie, "Look back in wonder", The Guardian (reviews), 12 August 2006
  • Entry in The Literary Encyclopedia by Colin Stanley
  • Paupers' Press – including the Centre for Colin Wilson Studies
  • An article by Colin Stanley on Wilson's debut novel, Ritual in the Dark at London Fictions
  • Colin Stanley on Wilson's Adrift in Soho at London Fictions
  • Colin Wilson at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Lyrics
Interviews
  • 'Suddenly Awakened', interview for Poetic Mind.
  • Audio Interview by William H. Kennedy Sphinx Radio, 9/28/08
  • Interview by Gary Lachman, Fortean Times, October 2004
  • Colin Wilson's August 2005 interview @ The New York Times
  • Creel Commission Interview with Colin Wilson.
  • Colin Wilson interviewed on poetry and the peak experience
  • Colin Wilson interviewed by Lynn Barber 2004
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The Occult: The Ultimate Guide for Those Who Would Walk with the Gods
The Occult: The Ultimate Guide for Those Who Would Walk with the Gods
Colin Wilson's great classic work is a comprehensive history of mystery and "magic". His genius lies in producing a skilful synthesis of the available material; clarifying without simplifying, seeing the occult in the light of reason and reason in the light of the mystical and paranormal. It is a journey of enlightenment – a wide-ranging survey of the whole subject and an insightful exploration of Man's latent powers. Republished two years after the author's death and with a new foreword by bibliographer Colin Stanley, Wilson brings his own refreshingly optimistic and stimulating interpretation to the worlds of the paranormal, the occult and the supernatural.   "The Occult is the most interesting, informative and thought-provoking book on the subject I have read" --Sunday Telegraph

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Super Consciousness: The Quest for the Peak Experience
Super Consciousness: The Quest for the Peak Experience
History is laced with examples of individuals who have experienced states of powerfully heightened awareness. Known as Peak Experiences (PEs), these periods of extreme mental, emotional, and creative invigoration have often resulted in great achievements. Bestselling author Colin Wilson has long pursued the nature of PEs, and here are the results of his 40-year investigation. Through a wealth of engaging anecdotes, he reveals how the PEs of such historical figures as Yeats, Blake, and Sartre, among others, influenced their work. Plus, he offers clues to unlocking this spiritual power in our own lives. 

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The Outsider: The Classic Exploration of Rebellion and Creativity (Tarcher Cornerstone Editions)
The Outsider: The Classic Exploration of Rebellion and Creativity (Tarcher Cornerstone Editions)
Colin Wilson's classic exploration of the rebel as genius, with a new introduction by Gary Lachman. When the upstart English writer Colin Wilson debuted on the literary scene with The Outsider in 1956, it marked one of the opening notes of the cultural revolution of the sixties. Wilson celebrated the misfit not as a figure be "fixed" and reintegrated into society, but as a lone journeyer who often had a stirring artistic, political, or spiritual innovation to convey to society. Wilson lived this book as much as wrote it. As an impoverished 23-year-old, the Englishman slept in a tent in a London park so that he could be free of material demands to dedicate himself fully to his study. When The Outsider appeared in 1956, it became a sensation among both critics and beats, who formed the vanguard of the dawning Aquarian Age. In Wilson's epic exploration of mystics, visionaries, literary pioneers, political troublemakers, and rule breakers of all sorts, he evoked a new kind of heroism, which changed how we view ourselves and our purpose in life.  The Outsider is now reissued and reset in a beautiful Tarcher Cornerstone Edition, with a new introduction by Wilson's friend and biographer, Gary Lachman. This new volume coincides with Tarcher's publication of Lachman's biography of Wilson, Beyond the Robot.

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Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson
Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson
Historian Gary Lachman delivers a fascinating, rollicking biography of literary and cultural rebel Colin Wilson, one of the most adventurous, hopeful, and least understood intellects of the past century.You will embark on the intellectual ride of a lifetime in this rediscovery of the life and work of writer, rebel, and social experimenter Colin Wilson (1931-2013).Author of the classic The Outsider, Wilson, across his 118 books, purveyed a philosophy of mind power and human potential that made him one of the least understood and most important voices of the twentieth century. Wilson helped usher in the cultural revolution of the 1960s with his landmark work, The Outsider, published in 1956. The Outsider was an intelligent, meticulous, and unprecedented study of nonconformity in all facets of life. Wilson, finally, became a prolific and unparalleled historian of the occult, providing a generation of readers with a responsible and scholarly entry point to a world of mysteries. Now, acclaimed historian Gary Lachman, a friend of Wilson and a scholar of his work, provides an extraordinary and delightful biography that delves into the life, thought, and evolution of one of the greatest intellectual rebels and underrated visionaries of the twentieth century.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Outsider
The Outsider
The seminal work on alienation, creativity, and the modern mind-set. "An exhaustive, luminously intelligent study...a real contribution to our understanding of our deepest predicament."—Philip Toynbee.

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The Mind Parasites: The Supernatural Metaphysical Cult Thriller
The Mind Parasites: The Supernatural Metaphysical Cult Thriller
Wilson has blended H.P. Lovecraft’s dark vision with his own revolutionary philosophy and unique narrative powers to produce a stunning, high-tension story of vaulting imagination. A professor makes a horrifying discovery while excavating a sinister archeological site. For over 200 years, mind parasites have been lurking in the deepest layers of human consciousness, feeding on human life force and steadily gaining a foothold on the planet. Now they threaten humanity’s extinction. They can be fought with one weapon only: the mind, pushed to—and beyond—its limits. Pushed so far that humans can read each other’s thoughts, that the moon can be shifted from its orbit by thought alone. Pushed so that man can at last join battle with the loathsome parasites on equal terms.

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The Philosopher's Stone
The Philosopher's Stone
'An important literary achievement.' - Library Journal 'Colin Wilson has a narrative style that can make the pursuit of any idea seem like exciting detective work.' - The Times 'Colin Wilson's best novel to date.' - The Spectator Howard Lester, a young scientist, becomes obsessed with the problem of death and begins a series of unconventional experiments aimed at increasing human longevity. In the course of their research, Lester and his friend Sir Henry Littleway make a startling discovery: a simple and harmless operation on the brain's prefrontal cortex results in vastly expanded consciousness and mental powers. After undergoing the procedure themselves, Lester and Littleway develop remarkable abilities, including 'time vision', a means of seeing backwards into time. They begin by looking at the relatively recent past-the eighteenth century and Shakespeare's England. But they soon find they can see much further back, to the days of Stonehenge and the Mayans, and even earlier. . . . But as they get closer to uncovering the beginnings of human existence, they make a terrifying discovery: something ancient and immensely powerful, long asleep, has been awakened by their activities, and is determined to stop them at all costs. . . . In The Strength to Dream (1962), Colin Wilson had criticized the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the American writer of weird tales, which led to Lovecraft's publisher August Derleth daring Wilson to write one better. This novel, The Philosopher's Stone (1969), was the result, a fascinating blend of science fiction, horror, and philosophy, told within the framework of Lovecraft's mythos. This edition is newly typeset from the first British edition and features a new introduction by Wilson scholar and bibliographer Colin Stanley.

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C.G.Jung: Lord of the Underworld
C.G.Jung: Lord of the Underworld
Carl Gustav Jung is one of the seminal figures in the history of depth psychology. An enormously influential and original thinker, Jung was for some time Freud's principal disciple, but he became more and more critical of the Freudian emphasis on repressed sexual tendencies and after the publication of "Symbols of Transformation" in 1912, Jung broke away from Freud to develop his own technique of 'analytical psychology'.

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The Space Vampires
The Space Vampires
Circa 2100 A scourge of sex and death from an alien spaceship WHEN CAPTAIN CARLSEN ENTERED THE VAST DERELICT SPACESHIP, he was shaken by the discovery of its immobilized humanoid passengers.Later, after three of the strange aliens had been transported to Earth, his foreboding was more than justifi ed. The creatures were energy vampires whose seductive embraces were fatal, whose lust for vitality was boundless. As they took over the willing bodies of their victims and sexual murders spread terror throughout the land, Carlsen worked toward their destruction-even while he was erotically drawn to the most beautiful vampire of all! "Thoroughly intriguing" -Chicago Sun-Times (1976)"New slant on horror...unique rendering of the age-old enigma of the kiss of death" -Chicago Tribune (1976)COLIN WILSON is the author of more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books. The Outsider (1956), published at the age of 24, earned him worldwide critical acclaim. The Space Vampires, his fi fty-fi rst book, was translated into Spanish, Japanese, French, Dutch and Swedish and was later adapted for screen in the movie LIFEFORCE, directed by Tobe Hooper (SALEM'S LOT, POLTERGEIST, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE). The movie failed however to capture the true spirit of the cult classic reprinted here by popular demand.

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