An appreciation of the author Colin Wilson (1931-2013) - philosopher, critic, novelist
My granddad, the outsider
by Ralph Wilson
This item was sent to Colin Wilson World by Ralph Wilson in 2007
The first time, or at least the first I can still remember, that I found out granddad was a writer was when I was roughly five years old. We were staying in the house, and I was looking at all of the masses of books around the living room, the bedrooms, and everywhere around the house generally.
I asked my dad: "Why does granddad like to read so much?", to which he replied: "It's because he writes a hell of a lot of them too, son." Ever since then I've looked around at the books whenever I stay in the house and wonder how he managed to even write half of what he has.
The first actual writings of his that I read were the Unexplained series that he sent to me before they were fully published because I was ill and he wanted to cheer me up. That was what got me interested in the supernatural and other worlds in less of, let's say a "mainstream" way.
On the contrary to registering ghosts as either curious entities or mere objects of fascination and dread, granddad's writing style had tipped me to thinking that the existence of ghosts was merely a point in reality which we as human beings didn't register.
That's one of the main things I can relate to about granddad's work, and indeed his ideas: the idea that reality is far more than meets the eye (speaking in generalities) and that it seems it's our own minds that hold us back from seeing this potential.
Sorry I can't write anything more concise, or for that matter anything that delves into more detail on my views of his work, but I have yet to read most of his works, and I don't have a sufficient vocabulary to express what I wish.
I will simply end with this: granddad is an outsider, and he is quite unlike anyone you have ever met, or will meet. Someone like granddad never really touches this world that most of us live in as, to put it simply, it's far too boring for him. He's an outsider because to live in normal circles is pure insanity; he is an outsider because he wishes to live. And I hope that I've taken that from him in some way.
* Colin Wilson pictured in July, 2005.