Off The Shelf; Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson 1956

The extremely talented Mr Colin Henry Wilson was an English writer and Philosopher whose earliest works were concerned with what he called ‘phenomenological existentialism’. He was originally part of a group of novelists and playwrights working during the 1950s who became known as the angry young men due to their disillusionment with traditional British society but later branched out into fiction, the occult, the paranormal and true crime amongst various other subjects.

I stumbled across a copy of his seminal work The Outsider whilst still at college and read it avidly, its exploration of social alienation via the roles played by various literary and cultural figures struck a deep chord in me and served as great inspiration throughout a large part of my formative years. The fact that Wilson was only twenty four years old when this masterpiece was published only served to strengthen the connection, these weren’t the vacuous postulations of some out of touch academic but compellingly relatable essays from someone who I considered to exist within my own age bracket. Despite the passage of almost three decades between first publication and my own exposure to this book, its contents felt no less relevant and continue to do so.

His fiction includes several studies dealing with the psychology of murder, science fiction and a number of entries into the Cthulu Mythos canon. He also continued to publish other highly regarded non-fiction titles too, his book on the psycho-sexual mores of the twentieth century (Origins Of The Sexual Impulse) should be on everyone’s essential reading list in my view.

Here are eight covers taken from books published in the 1960s, I hope that they serve to inspire you to seek out more information regarding this brilliant author and maybe even pick up a few of his titles.

The Outsider by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1967 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

The Outsider by Colin Wilson

Beyond The Outsider by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1966 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

Beyond The Outsider by Colin Wilson

Adrift In Soho by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1964 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

Adrift In Soho by Colin Wilson

Origins Of The Sexual Impulse by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1966 by Panther Books
The cover artist is not credited

Origins Of The Sexual Impulse by Colin Wilson

The World Of Violence by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1967 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

The World Of Violence by Colin Wilson

Ritual In The Dark by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1967 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

Ritual In The Dark by Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson On Music by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1965 by Pan Books
The cover artist is not credited

Colin Wilson On Music by Colin Wilson

Necessary Doubt by Colin Wilson
This version was published in 1966 by Panther Books
Cover art by Colin Price

Necessary Doubt by Colin Wilson

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4 thoughts on “Off The Shelf; Colin Wilson

  1. John C Nash 18/05/2016 / 1:48 pm

    A magnificent collection, Mr. Scriber. I’ve read some, but nowhere near enough, of Wilson’s work. I must rectify that and reacquaint myself with him. He has quite a unique voice. Thanks for the nudge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 18/05/2016 / 1:51 pm

      Thanks Mr Nash, I’ve picked up quite a few of Wilson’s earlier books over the years and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Good luck in your search and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour. All the best my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Guy 21/05/2016 / 3:42 pm

    Hi

    I really enjoyed seeing these titles. I love the cover design, it is so reflective of the period. I will be looking for more PAN titles. I am mainly familiar with Wilson through contributions to the Cthulu Mythos canon, which I have really enjoyed. I like the philosophical musing they contain and the plots are reminiscent of Eric Frank Russell another author I like who often works in the Fortean we are all property vein. I enjoyed Wilson’s Mind Parasites and The Return of the Lloigor but I should probably read The Outsider and see where it all started.

    Happy Reading
    Guy

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 04/06/2016 / 6:49 am

      Thanks Guy, I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed these covers as I happen to think they all have beautiful designs. I also have a copy of Mind Parasites which I thoroughly enjoyed plus a number of other novels by Wilson. The fact that he is primarily a philosopher always makes his writing fascinating on more levels than the usual author. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Outsider if you haven’t yet read it yet, I devoured it as a teenager in the early 80s and found much of what I read struck chords within me that still resonate to this day. Good luck in your search for Pan titles Guy and all the best.

      Like

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