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Colin Wilson: Philosopher of Optimism Paperback – 12 Dec 2017
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Features an interview with Colin Wilson by an International "Herald Tribune" correspondent.
From the Inside Flap
A lively and compelling book to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Colin Wilsons The Outsider.
The classic study of existential despair, The Outsider brought Wilson instant fame, followed by revilement by those same critics who had previously hailed him.
Now in his seventy-fourth year the writer and philosopher sums up his thinking. He brings new thoughts to bear on his work, and clearly illustrates the discoveries he has made, showing how these can provide an antidote to the pessimism of 20th Century thought.
At the core of his philosophy are the concepts of intentionality and the peak experience. Wilson shows us that if we will only open our eyes and direct perception properly we can use our minds in the most positive sense, to change ourselves and the world around us.
Wilson also talks about his writings on philosophy, criminology and the occult. Sometimes controversial, often challenging and always interesting, this interview by writer and journalist Brad Spurgeon, conducted at the authors home in Gorran Haven, near St Austell, in Cornwall, and the accompanying articles by Colin Wilson, provide an excellent overview for new readers. Those who already know his work and want to keep up to date will also welcome this book.
"Colin Wilson is a world-class thinker." The Sunday Times
"The individual who has a sense of detachment from the norms of his or her society must not fall prey to cynicism or hero-worship, but instead use this sense of alienation as the starting point for values and myths of ones own invention, the true outsider of which Wilson speaks." John Morgan
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I've not always been a fan of Colin Wilson's work. Maybe he has published too many books to sustain the quality of which he is capable - as in his acknowledged masterpiece 'The Outsider'. ALso there seems to be a lack of development from his eary books to his later ones, as though he decided he'd found all the answers at one point and thereafter trotted them out as a 'package'.
Nonetheless, in today's climate of pessimism, politically correct thought-control, mindless consumerist passivity and fanaticism, it's nice to think that somewhere out there Colin Wilson is still cutting through the bullshit and getting to the heart of issues that affect us all.
This is essentially a book of interviews with a few small essays appended for good measure. Colin WIlson reveals himself to be approachable, enthusiastic, penetratingly intelligent, erudite, well-read and persevering. In spite of his flaws, it is the indomitable spirit of his thinking that shines through here. One feels a genuine appetite for life underlying the intellectual parry-and-thrust, a trully dionysian spirit picking his way leisurely through the minefield of western thinking.
I'd like to see Colin WIlson looking into the discoveries made by modern neurology a bit more. Much of his instinctive theorising is not only validated there but could be made clearer using the ideas of Damassio, Roger Penrose and others.
This is a nice little book that compliments his bibliography perfectly.