Print this post Print this post

Remembering Colin Wilson  
Colin Wilson & Bill Hopkins

ColinWilson706 words

Editor’s Note:

In memory of Colin Wilson, who died on December 5th, we are publishing following excerpt from “Bill Hopkins: An Anti-Humanist Life,” a transcript by V. S. of a lecture by Jonathan Bowden given at the 7th New Right meeting in London on April 8, 2006. We will publish a fuller tribute to Wilson’s life and work as soon as possible. The full Bowden text will be published early next year by Counter-Currents in Jonathan Bowden’s Western Civilization Bites Back.

Colin Wilson is interesting in certain respects because Wilson now—despite the many, many millions he’s made from writing what might be called popular or middlebrow literature which contains an intellectual element—is despised by the intelligentsia and is despised by the mass culture, even after sort of four hundred books translated into nine languages. And yet, he’s unbelievably productive. Unbelievably. Almost to a logorrheic degree. It’s sort of churned out of him.

Now, when he was younger he was very influenced by Bill [Hopkins] and very influenced by his ideas. His first novel, Ritual in the Dark, was dedicated to Bill, and although The Outsider was written in the British Museum’s reading room, but then British Library, when it was based over in the center of Bloomsbury where Karl Marx wrote Capital, of course, he used to sleep on Hampstead Heath in the summer (it was a different era then) because Wilson came down from Leicester. One of 9, 10, 11, 12 children from a very poor working class background, went to work in a bicycle factory when he was 14, had no educational qualifications at all, and genuinely was an outsider which is why his first book was called The Outsider.

Angus Wilson, who was then the chief librarian at the British Library, noticed him scribbling every day between the hours when you come in the morning and leave in the evening and said “What are you writing?” He gave him the first draft of The Outsider, and he went to a publisher and indirectly, through [Angus] Wilson’s advice, it was published.

Now, Wilson was taken up by the cultural glitterati of the time, was praised as a new genius by the Sitwells and this sort of thing and then dumped and trashed for his next book as a working class upstart and arriviste who can’t write a sentence and he’s exceeded his brief and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. So, he was brought forward, embraced, and then slapped and sort of disappeared. But didn’t disappear to the degree that he didn’t write anymore, because he actually became, in Bill’s view (and Colin is one of his oldest friends), a compulsive over-producer who’s churned out an enormous mass of material. Whereas Bill, when he hit a wall around this time, has produced virtually nothing since that has been widely disseminated. So, you have two contrary reactions.

But if we actually look at Wilson’s career, Wilson has been open to the dissemination of far Right views, even though he may not particularly agree with them himself. He wrote for Lodestar, which was a sort of literary and mildly theoretical journal that was put out by Jeffrey Hamm the ex-Mosleyite and continuing Mosleyite for many years. Wilson also defended causes which were ideologically anti-system, illiberal, and very unfashionable.

When somebody using the mild pseudonym Richard Harwood, whose real name is Richard Verrall, wrote a pamphlet called Did Six Million Really Die? Colin Wilson wrote a review, a reasonably neutral review but a totally unhysterical review, in Books and Bookmen which then was probably a much more important publication in that particular era than it is now. This was the internal journal within the book industry that was widely used to target particular books and post-manuscripts that would then get mass distribution in the major chains that existed. Now, Wilson said that this is an important thesis and may cause hysteria in certain areas but needs to be looked at. And for this, he alone became a little marked or a little smelly or was considered to have something about him that wasn’t quite nice or quite right and this sort of thing.

In my view, this openness to discourse which is unacceptable is partly Bill Hopkins’ legacy on Colin Wilson.

 

If you enjoyed this piece, and wish to encourage more like it, give a tip through Paypal. You can earmark your tip directly to the author or translator, or you can put it in a general fund. (Be sure to specify which in the "Add special instructions to seller" box at Paypal.)
This entry was posted in North American New Right and tagged , , , , , . Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

5 Comments

  1. Posted December 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Wilson was one of four children, not one of between nine and twelve.

    Also, though incredibly prolific by any reasonable standard, he wrote between 100-150 books, not 400.

  2. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Two quick comments:

    One, Wilson’s “The Mind Parasites” is right on the money within accurate Paganism. It is a textbook example of using science fiction to “say” what science fact was not ready for.

    Yet.

    Two, Wilson saw more than he could say – and he said quite a lot. He and Bowden would be perfectly at home with each other, as they are Brothers in the same Faith. (Note the present tense.)

  3. WWWM
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Counter-Currents for remembering Colin Wilson. He might be the most under appreciated writer of all time. There is a short documentary about his life entitled “Strange is Normal”. Always one of my favorite writers.

  4. AG
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Middlebrow as it may be, “The Occult” was a significant influence during my younger days, especially the chapter entitled “The Poet as Occultist.” It served as an intro to Graves and the White Goddess (among other things) and which, in turn, is most probably the reason why I stopped to enjoy the interview with Juleigh Howard-Hobson. I don’t usually do the audio…

    R.I.P. Colin Wilson.

  5. Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Although this is great overall, I feel the need to point that if Jonathan believed that Wilson made “millions” from his writing, he was sadly mistaken. It was always a struggle for Colin just to make ends meet, until very late in his career.

    Kindle Subscription
  • EXSURGO Apparel

    Our Titles

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater (2nd ed.)

    The Hypocrisies of Heaven

    Waking Up from the American Dream

    Green Nazis in Space!

    Truth, Justice, and a Nice White Country

    Heidegger in Chicago

    The End of an Era

    Sexual Utopia in Power

    What is a Rune? & Other Essays

    Son of Trevor Lynch's White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    The Lightning & the Sun

    The Eldritch Evola

    Western Civilization Bites Back

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Tyr, Vol. 4

    Reuben

    The Node

    Axe

    Carl Schmitt Today

    A Sky Without Eagles

    The Way of Men

    Generation Identity

    Nietzsche's Coming God

    The Conservative

    The New Austerities

    Convergence of Catastrophes

    Demon

    Proofs of a Conspiracy

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    Notes on the Third Reich

    Morning Crafts

    New Culture, New Right

    The Fourth Political Theory

    Can Life Prevail?

    The Metaphysics of War

    Fighting for the Essence

    The Arctic Home in the Vedas

    Asatru: A Native European Spirituality

    The Shock of History

    The Prison Notes

    Sex and Deviance

    Standardbearers

    On the Brink of the Abyss

    Beyond Human Rights

    A Handbook of Traditional Living

    Why We Fight

    The Problem of Democracy

    Archeofuturism

    The Path of Cinnabar

    Tyr

    The Lost Philosopher

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace

    Defiance

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Revolution from Above