The Outsider

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J.P. Tarcher, 1982 - Philosophy - 302 pages
35 Reviews
The Outsider is the seminal work on alienation, creativity, and the modern mind-set. First published more than thirty years ago, it made its youthful author England's most controversial intellectual. The Outsider is an individual engaged in an intense self-exploration-a person who lives at the edge, challenges cultural values, and "stands for Truth." Born into a world without perspective, where others simply drift through life, the Outsider creates his own set of rules and lives them in an unsympathetic environment. The relative handful of people who fulfilled Wilson's definition of the Outsider in the 1950s have now become a significant social force, making Wilson's vision more relevant today than ever. Through the works and lives of various artists-including Kafka, Camus, Eliot, Hemingway, Hesse, Lawrence, Van Gogh, Nijinsky, Shaw, Blake, Nietzsche, and Dostoyevski-Wilson explores the psyche of the Outsider, his effect on society, and society's effect on him. Wilson illuminates the struggle of those who seek not only the transformation of Self but also the transformation of society as a whole. The book is essential for everyone who shares Wilson's conviction that "a new religion is needed."

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Review: The Outsider

User Review  - Goodreads

description “The Outsider wants to cease to be an Outsider.” It's like the most touching words (regarding the outsider subject) I've ever read. Yes. This book touches my heart really deep. It ... Read full review

Review: The Outsider

User Review  - Smita - Goodreads

Closer to two and a half stars, but meh. It would have been extremely fascinating to read about a man who feels outside of his consciousness, but I already knew about sociopathy, so I was left disappointed :/ Read full review


Foreword by Marilyn Ferguson
The Country of the Blind

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About the author (1982)

Born to a working class English household in 1931, COLIN WILSON went from being the "bad boy" of the British literary scene to becoming a wide-ranging historian, novelist, critic, and philosopher. In addition to his classic study of rebellion, The Outsider, Wilson distinguished himself as one of the most prolific and grounded historians of occult and esoteric movements. A rebel until the end, Wilson later in life wrote stirring intellectual defenses of optimism, challenging the dark vogue of figures such as Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett. He died in Cornwall, England, in late 2013.

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