THE STATURE OF MAN by Colin Wilson


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This is a complex compendium, by the author of The Outsider, which all too often resembles a brilliant term paper. Mr. Wilson has read very widely, and calls on more authors than the average reader can hope to have read in order to support his thesis. This is that the inner-directed Hero is dying out of society and literature, and being replaced by the other-directed man, who is haunted by a sense of insignificance, ""hell is other people"", Billy Graham religions, the Organization Man- and occasional crimes of violence as a desperate compensation. This interesting problem has already been treated widely by sociologists, psychologists, philosophers and writers, and Mr. Wilson's attempt to include them all makes this book rather crowded. His proposed cure, that man must try turning inward ""and then turning outward again"" bears a strong (unacknowledged) resemblance to Toynbee and there are other echoes in this book. The question of redirection is certainly a pressing and absorbing one, and is pointed up in an odd way by this book, in which a man who speaks in favor of inner-direction does so largely in terms of other people's ideas.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1959
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin