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Wilson, Colin (Henry) (1931-)

Wilson, Colin (Henry) (1931-)

Popular British novelist and writer on occultism who attracted worldwide attention with his first book, The Outsider. He was born on June 26, 1931, in Leicester, England. He was educated at the Gateway School, Leicester, and worked at a great variety of jobs before becoming a writer. In 1947 he was employed by a wool company, and he subsequently worked as a laboratory assistant at a secondary technical school (1947-48) and as a tax collector (1947-49). He spent time in Germany and France, and while in Paris he worked on Merlin and Paris Review. Wilson was writer-in-residence at Hollins College, Virginia (1966-67) and now resides in Cornwall, England.

While preparing his first book The Outsider (1956), Wilson researched at public libraries, slept outdoors, and wrote in coffee houses. The book was an instant success, and the term "outsider" passed into common use as a romantic way to denote a type of brilliant misfit capable of surveying life in an original way. Assuming that role himself, Wilson has shown originality in his other writings, and in recent years he has achieved the status of an authority on popular occultism for his many writings and reviews in that subject area. His major study The Occult (1971) is a substantive survey of the emerging occult community at the beginning of the 1970s. He has produced several books annually through the 1980s to the present. He has continued to reflect upon the world of psychic experience, the occult, and alternative spirituality. His novel, The Space Vampires (1975), was turned into a movie.

Sources:

Wilson, Colin. Beyond the Outsider. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1965.

. Enigmas and Mysteries. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1976.

. The Essential Colin Wilson. London: Harrap, 1985.

. The Geller Phenomena. London: Aldus Books, 1976.

. Mysterious Powers. Reprinted in the United States as They Had Strange Powers. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975.

. The Occult. London: Hodder & Stoughton; New York: Random House, 1971.

. The Unexplained. Lake Oswego, Ore.: Lost Pleiade Press, 1975.

Wilson, Colin, and John Grant, eds. Directory of Possibilities. Exeter, England: Webb & Bower, 1981.

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"Wilson, Colin (Henry) (1931-)." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Wilson, Colin

Colin Wilson, 1931–2013, English writer, b. Leicester. Born into a working-class family and largely self-educated, Wilson in many of his books exhorts humankind to expand its powers and realize its full potential. He gained wide and mainly positive critical attention with his first book, The Outsider (1956), which seeks to define the meaning of human existence, praising individuals of rare vision, e.g., Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Nietzsche, G. B. Shaw, et al., who realize that life is futile and who stand apart from a society that conceals this unpleasant truth. Wilson wrote more than 100 works, both nonfiction and fiction, and showed a considerable interest in mystery, murder, the paranormal, and the occult. Among his other books are Beyond the Outsider (1965), The Glass Cage (1966), The Mind Parasites (1967), Bernard Shaw: A Reassessment (1969), The Occult (1971), Order of Assassins (1972), Hesse, Reich, Borges (1974), Life Force (1985), Beyond the Occult (1988), Alien Dawn (1998), and Devil's Party (2000).

See his Autobiographical Reflections (1988) and memoirs, Voyage to a Beginning (1969) and Dreaming to Some Purpose (2004); studies by S. R. Campion (1962), J. A. Wiegel (1975), C. P. Bendau (1979), N. Tredell (1982), K. G. Bergström (1983), J. Moorhouse (1989), H. F. Dossor (1990), G. Lachman (1994), and S. R. Campion (2011); annotated bibliography by C. Stanley (1989).

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"Wilson, Colin." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wilson-colin