- ペーパーバック: 238ページ
- 出版社: Hampton Roads Pub Co Inc (1998/08)
- 言語: 英語
- ISBN-10: 1571741119
- ISBN-13: 978-1571741110
- 発売日： 1998/08
- 商品パッケージの寸法: 22.9 x 15.3 x 2.3 cm
- おすすめ度： 3件のカスタマーレビュー
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 734,738位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
The Books in My Life (英語) ペーパーバック – 1998/8
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原題は”The Books In My Life"。
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He discusses the influence on his life of Dostoevsky, William and Henry James, Plato, Joyce, and Sartre, but also Sherlock Holmes and Shaw. He also discusses relatively unknown authors such as David Lindsay, who wrote "A Voyage to Arcturus", and the Russians Leonid Andreyev and Mikhail Artsybashev.
The common thread running through "The Books in My Life" is how each of these books inspired his belief that humans can be greater than they usually are, or lended support to his philosophy of the Outsider, or gave an example of what happens when authors fail to grasp the significance of what they themselves are writing and then sink into despair.
This is an interesting book that will get you to think about the books that have shaped your own life.
Also interesting is Wilson's defense of his various tastes. It's a rare treat when someone shares their person aesthetic preferences, and Wilson, as a lifetime reader, does this well. For one example, he describes how his former love for G.B. Shaw's plays faded as he got older.
For fans of Wilson, this is a welcome insight to how his ideas developed.
In a work such as this one would expect several things. First and foremost, that it would be a seriously bulky book. Afterall, this is C.Wilson we're dealing with here, a man with a 20.000 book library in his house and one of the most prolific modern writers. In a book where he's discussing the most influential books in his life, you'd expect something like a 700-1000 page mammoth, ranging from his teenagehood up until now. Instead, we get a rather "lazy" 300 page offer where mostly literature is presented and to a lesser extend some philosophy.
That's strange considering that for the better part of the last decade C.Wilson has been investigating such intriguing areas as the paranormal, the occult and the possibility of alien existence or activity. In these topics Wilson has done some of his very best work, and I'm sure i don't stand alone with this opinion. Yet, there's nothing to be seen in "The Books in My Life" about all that. I, for one, was expecting a big part of the book dedicated to these areas with an appropriate bibliography accompanying it. I was dissapointed that all this was ommited, but it's also obvious that this was a choice C.Wilson made, allthough I'm not at all convinced about the logic behind it. Unless of course there is a "part 2" of this book to follow, focusing only on the latter stage of his research and works. I'm very curious about it all.
Strictly speaking about this book, I wasn't exactly thrilled even though C.Wilson is my favorite author and researcher. First of all he mentions several authors who -he himself admits- play no role anymore in his life and haven't done so in many years. I fail to see the point in mentioning them then especially when he does so at length. I would understand it had he devoted references to them, but whole chapters just to dismiss them?
Then again, and this i found even more odd, the type of literature that he discusses struck me as shallow. I had the belief (or call it illusion if you like) that in C.Wilson's influences I'd discover some majorly iconoclastic literature. To be fair, i did discover some but in painfully small dosages. The rest came across to me as books I wouldn't be interested in, as they seem to be works that deal with things most people are concerned with in their teenage years. And not very good books at that either as Wilson himself says too.
I remained with the feeling that Wilson used the theme of "the books I've read" only to bring forward (not for the first time) his agenda of steering our conciousness or moods. Now, that is a damn interesting agenda and certainly one worth devoting many years into perfecting as an "inner skill". Speaking of that, i think that some reviewers may (I'm not 100% sure myself) have misunderstood Wilson as a professional optimist exactly because of this agenda of his, which can be easy to miscomprehend.
Wilson doesn't see the world as a very rosy one and this is very apparent for anyone that has read his previous books. What he suggests is that by achieving a large degree of control over our consciousness we thereby affect our outlook on the world especially when one keeps in mind that reality is subjective. Surely, and one reviewer who tackles this is certainly right, Wilson doesn't seem to take into consideration all the "outside" factors such as politics and economics that deeply affect our lives. I tend to think that Wilson doesn't have complete answers so he decides to go for what he's sure about, leaving out those areas that would complicate the question. That, and I'd readily agree with other reviewers here, makes his overall arguments weak or ambiguous. The main body of his agenda though (consciousness steering) still maintains its intrigue. It has to be processed in a more detailed analysis though, and it needs to incorporate more factors that are definitely important before it can shape up into something more accurate and "realistic".
Generally speaking, simply because i enjoy reading C.Wilson i found the book pretty good at parts but mostly because of positive bias on my part. Other parts were (shockingly) boring and others had me searching for the significance.
As i said in the beginning: he "needs" to offer us a part II, where he talks about books that have driven him to the research he's undertook the last 10 years. Now, that would be way more interesting. With an agenda (which we all anyway have) or without it...
there are 20 some episodes, covering the books Wilson read. from easy detective story to difficult phylosophy works. it shows how can reading build a man, and it makes me want to read all the books he read, to see whether i agree with his comments or not.
I feel Wilson's positive philosophy from the first page to the end, though his comments (especially the one on Joyce) is debatable, but his optimism makes life shining. He reads every joyful drop of life from books, even from the books by the gloomy existmentists. He makes reading and meditation no more a depressing process.
i wish i could find this book 10 years earlier, and start to read all the books he covered in this book.