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.


This entry was posted in North American New Right and tagged , , , , , . Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.


    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.)

  5. 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.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.
Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. If approved, it will appear here soon. Do not post your comment a second time.
Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Our Titles

    White Identity Politics

    Here’s the Thing

    Trevor Lynch: Part Four of the Trilogy

    Graduate School with Heidegger

    It’s Okay to Be White


    The Enemy of Europe

    The World in Flames

    The White Nationalist Manifesto

    From Plato to Postmodernism

    The Gizmo

    Return of the Son of Trevor Lynch's CENSORED Guide to the Movies

    Toward a New Nationalism

    The Smut Book

    The Alternative Right

    My Nationalist Pony

    Dark Right: Batman Viewed From the Right

    The Philatelist

    Novel Folklore

    Confessions of an Anti-Feminist

    East and West

    Though We Be Dead, Yet Our Day Will Come

    White Like You

    The Homo and the Negro, Second Edition

    Numinous Machines

    Venus and Her Thugs


    North American New Right, vol. 2

    You Asked For It

    More Artists of the Right

    Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics


    The Importance of James Bond

    In Defense of Prejudice

    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

    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


    The Node

    The New Austerities

    Morning Crafts

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Gold in the Furnace