I read Terry Eagleton’s piece about Colin Wilson’s The Outsider as “a book that changed me” (5 August). After fumbling about relating his teenage years and dismissing Wilson and his book with contempt, he ends with a bookshop story of mild embarrassment and no consequence. He never gets around to telling us why the book changed him – which I thought was the point of the article.The book actually did change me. In 1961 I stumbled across it in Coventry public library quite by chance as I liked the title and, I noted with satisfaction as I had recently failed my English A-level exam, that he was very young and did not have a university degree. The book opened my eyes to the world of literature and philosophy, and introduced me to a collection of authors I never knew existed. They were never on the lips of my public school English teachers, who were complacently and idly saturated in the past.Leaving aside what Eagleton casually terms the “second-rate off-the-peg philosophy”, the book was my bibliography into the future and changed the way I saw the world, and my place in it, and for that I shall always be grateful to …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books