Book: Colin Wilson «Necessary Doubt (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)»

Necessary Doubt (Valancourt 20th Century Classics)

'An entertaining confidence game, which seduces, startles, and ... assuredly succeeds in engaging one's interest.' - Kirkus Reviews '[Wilson] continues to try to find out what is really important in life ... surely his intentions deserve all our respect. And by the way, Necessary Doubt is also quite a good thriller.' - Times Literary Supplement 'A grippingly readable suspense story.' - The Observer Several extremely rich men have died under suspicious circumstances, and Karl Zweig, a professor of philosophy, has reason to suspect they were murdered by his former student, Gustav Neumann, a brilliant young man who had once espoused the desire to become a master criminal. When he observes Neumann in the company of Sir Timothy Ferguson, a wealthy and sick old baronet, Zweig believes he may soon be Neumann's next victim. But as Zweig races to gather evidence against his old friend, he begins to be unsure whether any murders have been committed at all. Instead,...

Издательство: "Книга по Требованию" (2014)

ISBN: 9781941147306

Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson

Pictured in Cornwall, 1984
Born 26 June 1931 (1931-06-26) (age 80)
Leicester, England, UK
Occupation Author
Nationality English
Period 1956 to Present
Genres Non-fiction and fiction
Literary movement Angry Young Men
Notable work(s) The Outsider
The Occult

Colin Henry Wilson (born 26 June 1931 in Leicester) is a prolific English writer who first came to prominence as a philosopher and novelist. Wilson has since written widely on true crime, mysticism and other topics. He prefers calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism.


Early biography

Born and raised in Leicester, England,[1] Wilson left school at 16. He worked in factories and at various occupations, and read in his spare time.[2] Gollancz published the then 24-year-old Wilson's The Outsider in 1956; the work examines the role of the social "outsider" in seminal works of various key literary and cultural figures. These include Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William James, T. E. Lawrence, Vaslav Nijinsky and Vincent van Gogh; Wilson discusses his perception of social alienation in their work. The book became a best-seller and helped popularize existentialism in Britain.[3]

The inside cover's blurb reads:

The Outsider is the seminal work on alienation, creativity and the modern mind-set. First published over thirty years ago, it made its youthful author England's most controversial intellectual.

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 wrote a popular paperback sampler, Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men.[4][5] 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.[6] Critics on the left swiftly labeled them as fascist; commentator Kenneth Allsop called them "the law givers".[6][7]

Life and works after The Outsider

After the initial success of Wilson's first work, critics universally panned Religion and the Rebel (1957). Time magazine published a review, headlined "Scrambled Egghead", that pilloried the book.[8]

Other non-fiction writing

Wilson has written non-fiction books on 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 analyzes as an active member of the Ghost Club.

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


Wilson explored his ideas on human potential and consciousness in fiction, mostly detective fiction or science fiction, including several Cthulhu Mythos pieces.

Like his non-fiction work, much of Wilson's fictional output from Ritual in the Dark (1960) onwards has concerned itself with the psychology of murder — especially that of serial killing. However, he has also written science fiction of a philosophical bent, including the Spider-World series.

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.[citation needed] 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 indulges in a mental experiment: "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 "He 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"[9] 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.


Tobe Hooper directed the film Lifeforce, based on Wilson's novel The Space Vampires.[10] 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, the film adaption of Lifeforce.


Note: this bibliography, while extensive, does not list all of Wilson's work. For a complete bibliography see Colin Stanley's The Colin Wilson Bibliography, 1956-2010. Nottingham, UK: Paupers' Press, 2011 (ISBN 0-946650-64-0)

  • The Outsider (1956)
  • Religion and the Rebel (1957)
  • "The Frenchman" (short story, Evening Standard 22 August 1957)
  • The Age of Defeat (US title The Stature of Man) (1959)
  • Ritual in the Dark (1960)
  • Encyclopedia of Murder (with Patricia Pitman, 1961)
  • 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)
  • The Strength to Dream: Literature and the Imagination (1962)
  • "Uncle and the Lion" (short story, Evening News 28 September 1962)
  • "Hidden Bruise" (short story, Evening News 3 December 1962)
  • Origins of the Sexual Impulse (1963)
  • The World of Violence (US title The Violent World of Hugh Greene) (1963)
  • Man Without a Shadow (US title The Sex Diary of Gerard Sorme) (1963)
  • "The Wooden Cubes" (short story, Evening News 27 June 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)
  • Necessary Doubt (1964)
  • Beyond the Outsider (1965)
  • Eagle and Earwig (1965)
  • Sex and the Intelligent Teenager (1966)
  • Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966)
  • The Glass Cage (1966)
  • The Mind Parasites (1967)
  • Voyage to a Beginning (1969)
  • A Casebook of Murder (1969)
  • Bernard Shaw: A Reassessment (1969)
  • The Philosopher's Stone (1969) ISBN 978-0-213-17790-4
  • The Return of the Lloigor (first published 1969 in the anthology Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; revised separate edition, Village Press, London, 1974).
  • Poetry and Mysticism (1969; subsequently significantly expanded in 1970)
  • "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)
  • L'amour: The Ways of Love (1970)
  • The Strange Genius of David Lindsay (with E. H. Visiak and J.B. Pick, 1970)
  • Strindberg (1970)
  • The God of the Labyrinth (US title The Hedonists) (1970)
  • The Killer (US title Lingard) (1970)
  • The Occult: A History (1971)
  • The Black Room (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 Schoolgirl Murder Case (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)
  • The Space Vampires (1976)
  • 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)
  • "Timeslip" (short story in Aries I, edited by John Grant, 1979)
  • Science Fiction as Existentialism (1980)
  • Starseekers (1980)
  • Frankenstein's Castle: the Right Brain-Door to Wisdom (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, 1962-82 (1983)
  • "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 Psychic Detectives: The Story of Psychometry and Paranormal Crime Detection (1984)
  • [A Criminal History of Mankind][1] (1984), revised and updated (2005)
  • Lord of the Underworld: Jung and the Twentieth Century (1984)
  • The Janus Murder Case (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)
  • The Personality Surgeon (1985)
  • An Encyclopedia of Scandal. Edited by Colin Wilson and Donald Seaman (1986)
  • The Book of Great Mysteries. Edited by Colin Wilson and Dr. Christopher Evans (1986)
  • An Essay on the 'New' Existentialism (1988)
  • The Laurel and Hardy Theory of Consciousness (1986)
  • Spider World: The Tower (1987)
  • Spider World: The Delta (1987)
  • 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 Magician from Siberia (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)
  • Spider World: The Magician (1992)
  • 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 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)
  • The Tomb of the Old Ones (with John Grant, 2002)
  • Spider World: Shadowlands (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)
  • 'The Death of God' and other plays (edited by Colin Stanley) (2008)
  • Super Consciousness (2009)
  • Existential Criticism: selected book reviews (edited by Colin Stanley) (2009)

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)

Further reading

  • Bendau, Clifford P. Colin Wilson: The Outsider and Beyond (1979), San Bernardino: Borgo Press ISBN 0-89370-229-3
  • Dalgleish, Tim The Guerilla Philosopher: Colin Wilson and Existentialism (1993), Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-47-0
  • Dosser, 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 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 (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 Colin Wilson Bibliography 1956-2010 (2011) Nottingham: Paupers' Press ISBN 0-946650-64-0
  • 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
  • Tredell, Nicolas The Novels of Colin Wilson (1982) London: Vision Press ISBN 0-85478-035-1
  • 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


  1. ^ Colin Wilson, Dreaming to Some Purpose (Arrow, 2005)
  2. ^ Colin Wilson, Dreaming to Some Purpose, Arrow, 2005
  3. ^ Kenneth Allsop, The Angry Decade; A Survey of the Cultural Revolt of the Nineteen Fifties. London: Peter Owen Ltd.
  4. ^ Maschler, Tom (editor) (1957). Declaration. London: MacGibbon and Kee. 
  5. ^ Feldman, Gene and Gartneberg, Max (editors) (1958). Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men. New York: Citadel Press. 
  6. ^ a b Allsop, Kenneth (1958). The Angry Decade; A Survey of the Cultural Revolt of the Nineteen Fifties. London: Peter Owen Ltd. 
  7. ^ Holroyd, Stuart (1975). Contraries: A Personal Progression. London: The Bodley Head Ltd. 
  8. ^ Colin Wilson, The Angry Years Robson Books, 2007
  9. ^ Wilson, Colin title = The Mind Parasites (1975). Oneiric Press. p. 112. 
  10. ^ Mitchell, Charles P. (2001). A guide to apocalyptic cinema. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 112. 

External links

Источник: Colin Wilson

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