Colin Wilson, Author of THE OUTSIDER, Dies at 82
Colin Wilson, an English writer who rose to fame in 1956 with his book THE OUTSIDER, died on December 5th in Cornwall, England, the cause of complications of pneumonia. He was 82 years old, and survived by his wife, Joy; their two sons, Damon and Rowan; their daughter, Sally Dyer; a son, Roderick, from his first marriage; and nine grandchildren. Born in 1931 in Leicester, England, he said that he knew early on that he was different than the "vegetable mediocrity" that surrounded him as he grew up. He said that he felt that he was a "genius or destined for great things" in an essay he wrote.
As a science scholar, he was a prodigy until his career plan was abruptly stopped by the making of the atomic bomb, which he wanted to create. After this stop, he changed his plan to become a writer. He left school at 16, and spent his time in the British Museum, working on what would become THE OUTSIDER. The book stated that people who were famous for being men of vision, stood apart from society, as better than society as a whole. Though critics would eventually argue about Mr. Wilson himself, the book gained much praise throughout the world. His dislike for society in general fascinated the British media until he eventually recieved backlash for what was found out about him, including journals where he wrote things such as "The day must come when I am hailed as a major prophet".
Despite Mr. Wilson's trouble with critics and public opinion of him in general, as being labelled one of the Angry Young Men and dealing with critics changing their view of him as he got in the middle of a political scandal involving journals that were actually notes for his next book, he believed that humanity was destined to evolve to a higher state, as well as continued to write about murder, sexual deviance, and occult.
His other books include the novels "The Schoolgirl Murder Case," "The Space Vampires" and "The Sex Diary of a Metaphysician"; two volumes of memoir, "Voyage to a Beginning" and "Dreaming to Some Purpose"; and the nonfiction works "Rasputin and the Fall of the Romanovs," "A Criminal History of Mankind," "Beyond the Occult: A Twenty-Year Investigation Into the Paranormal," "Alien Dawn: An Investigation Into the Contact Experience" and "The Misfits: A Study of Sexual Outsiders."
Throughout his work, he continued to believe that he was incredibly important in the literary world. He claimed that he was one of the best writers of the 20th century.