The Outsider is a book by English writer Colin Wilson. Through the works and lives of various artists – including H. G. Wells Franz Kafka, Albert Camus. The Outsider [Colin Wilson] on ruthenpress.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The seminal work on alienation, creativity, and the modern mind-set. The Outsider [Colin Wilson] on ruthenpress.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. First published over 30 years ago, 'The Outsider' was an instant literary.
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Terry Eagleton: A book that changed me: The Outsider's theme of artistic alienation was perfect for someone trying and failing to grow a beard. When Wilson's first book, The Outsider, came out in — coinciding with the arrival of a noisy cohort of anti-establishment writers labelled. How dismayed the late Colin Wilson would have been if, through some The man whose first book The Outsider caused him to be lionised in.
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Eternal outsider For ambitious would-be authors, the life of Colin Wilson presents itself as a cautionary tale. Hair time: Colin Wilson breaks another literary rule: You can form your own view. Subscribe now. Enter your email address Continue Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid Email already exists. Update newsletter preferences. Comments Share your thoughts and debate the big issues.
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He didn't wear a cravat, but I saw the odd photo of him in a turtleneck sweater, which was almost as insurrectionary.
In those days, not even bomb-toting anarchists would have dared to appear in public without a tie, so the cunning of a turtleneck sweater was that it allowed men to be open-necked without rubbing the fact offensively in your face.
Astonishingly, he also wore white sneakers on television, which struck me as only slightly less subversive than the storming of the Bastille. Most of the figures it deals with have absurdly little in common with one another. It is just that the pure Romantic cliche of its main argument — that some artists feel alienated from mainstream society — is nebulous enough to apply to almost anyone who lifts a paintbrush or a pen, including at a stretch the anonymous author of the Rupert Bear annual.
It is the kind of book you might expect from a gloomy autodidact who had been locked for some months in a second-hand bookshop. It was the glumness above all that entranced me. It is a common mistake to imagine that pessimism is somehow more mature than cheerfulness.
In the 20th century, melancholy is modish, whereas there is something incorrigibly naive about hope. For an adolescent in search of maturity, then, metaphysical meaninglessness seemed to be just the ticket, not least after the convent schoolgirl had decamped to the left bank of Rochdale. Rather oddly, The Outsider concludes by arguing that western philosophy is afflicted with a "pessimistic fallacy", hence taking a smart step back from its own prevailing mood.
I tried, however, to set this positive note aside, for fear it might undermine my dejection. The book was one of the first fruits of a genre of pop philosophy that has since produced some first-rate stuff.
Yet it is not a form of writing I can think of without embarrassment. I was once browsing in an Oxford bookshop when I came across a display of books offering simplified accounts of various subjects: I caught a glimpse of a friend of mine standing before the display, a distinguished Oxford philosopher, who was leafing idly through the Philosophy Made Simple volume.
Seizing the chance of a jest, I crept up behind him and murmured in his ear "That's a bit difficult for you, isn't it? But it was not my friend at all.
It was a complete stranger. Muttering a few words of apology, I scampered out of the store. Somewhere in the world, there is a man who believes that people in Oxford are so obnoxiously elitist that they jeer openly at the efforts of total strangers to improve their minds.
Terry Eagleton is visiting professor at Lancaster and Notre Dame universities. This series, A book that changed me, will run throughout August.
Topics Philosophy books A book that changed me.