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Month: January 2019

The Outsider and the Age of Defeat, Part 3

The Outsider and the Age of Defeat, Part 3

In the next section of The Age of Defeat, Wilson deals with what he calls, “the fallacy of insignificance.”1 Continuing in his examination of “the problem of the hero,”2 he begins to discuss Existentialism, for, he says, “its concepts provide the tools with which the whole problem can be dissected.”3 Now, the problem of the hero is that heroism has vanished from Western literature and culture. As we saw earlier, in America we have an other-directedness that extends so far…

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The Outsider and the Age of Defeat, Part 2

The Outsider and the Age of Defeat, Part 2

Wilson reminds us that the inner-directed/outer-directed model is a construction that, according to Riesman, does not really exist, but is merely a type “based on a selection of certain historical problems.”1 No one is either one or the other, much like the labeling of left-brain/right-brain people; all are a combination of both. Wilson adds It may be true that many people spend their lives in a state of more or less contented other-direction, that others (rarer) have achieved a certain…

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The Outsider and The Age of Defeat, Part 1

The Outsider and The Age of Defeat, Part 1

The third book in Colin Wilson’s much acclaimed Outsider Cycle, The Age of Defeat, has recently been reissued by Aristeia Press. It was originally published in 1959. I’ve been anxious to read it and begin a new series writing about it. I had a lot of fun doing the The Outsider and Religion and the Rebel series last year. Hopefully, this one will work out equally well. So, let’s begin! With his first two books, Colin Wilson communicated very clearly…

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