Gary Lachman discusses his book Beyond the Robot – The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. This is a three part interview. Part one is here. Part two is here.
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
Colin Wilson was a literary and cultural rebel, and one of the most adventurous, hopeful, and least understood visionary intellects of the past century. Author of over a hundred books including the 1956 classic The Outsider, Wilson purveyed a philosophy of mind power and human potential that made him arguably the only optimistic existentialist.
In part three, we consider how Wilson’s worldview differed from that of many in the literary movement he was all-too-often lumped in with, the so-called ‘angry young men’ such as John Osborne and Kingsley Amis who rose to prominence during the 1950s. Wilson held an unfashionable belief in the power of self-improvement over and above that of social protest or utopian politics. Indeed, his ideas about the possible emergence of a New Human, physically and mentally improved, coupled with his criticism of what he saw as the widespread denial of genius and worm’s-eye view of the World, were in certain circles condemned as nothing less than fascist.
We also discuss Wilson’s appearances on television and radio, and his many works of fiction, some of which were adapted for stage and screen. Gary then recalls the occasions when he was fortunate enough to actually meet Colin, and we examine some of his later works, wondering just where his investigations might have led him had he lived longer.
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