INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW EXISTENTIALISM by Colia Wilson

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW EXISTENTIALISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With his huggermugger of modish references (""peak experiences, ""indifference threshold""), blithely unsubstantiated claims, and dizzying simplifications of the work of highly complex thinkers, the court jester of the paperback revolution now presents a mirage of his own, modestly called ""the new existentialism."" Dancing quickly through Sartre and Heidegger, among others, each of whom is ""discovered"" to be an offshoot of romanticism, Wilson leaves that trite notion to sound a few trumpets in honor of Husserlian phenomenology. Properly used, it will not only destroy the dragon of contemporary nihilism but also light the way to a sort of purposive evolutionism whereby experimental psychology, linguistic analysis, and the ""extension of consciousness"" should prove what many saints and poets have long been saying--"" that the world of beauty and intensity has a real existence."" Alas, since Wilson's own developmental method is largely the one of sheer assertion, unfinished arguments, and twinkle-toed non sequiturs, his book, while interlaced with up-to-the minute summaries of other moderns and filled with interesting ideas (none of which are the author's) remains haphazard, oblique, and ineffably bogus.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1967
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin