Friday, December 13, 2013

A Colin Wilson Moment

Colin Wilson died last week. He was one of the great influences on my intellectual life. I have 14 books by him with THE OUTSIDERS and THE OCCULT heavily annotated. I especially remember his references to the whiskey priest being led out to a firing squad in Graham Greene’s novel, THE POWER and THE GLORY. As he is about to die, the priest realizes he could have chosen to be a saint instead of an alcoholic and cowardly failure. I went to see Colin Wilson speak about writing sometime in the 1990s in Manhattan. A few weeks later I met at a walk-up apartment in Hell’s Kitchen with a group of writers, who had attended the Wilson lecture, to discuss our lives and works. I have never forgotten the remarks of our hostess, who said she decided to move from Washington, D.C. to New York after everything in her life had gone wrong: “My career, my marriage, my affair.” We never got together again, much to my regret.

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