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eBook The Glass Cage download

by Colin Wilson

eBook The Glass Cage download ISBN: 0330020196
Author: Colin Wilson
Publisher: Pan Books; First edition, second printing edition (1968)
Language: English
Pages: 290
ePub: 1895 kb
Fb2: 1454 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: lrf azw lit mbr
Category: Other

A series of brutal and bizarre murders has London on edge. In this book Colin Wilson provides an interesting phenomenology of how a serial murderer’s mind phenomenology might unfold and why it does so. According to Wilson, such pathological murderers are mortally afraid of the existential emptiness and the sense of meaninglessness which appears in their life as dullness and some kind of psychological dying, so they attempt to find intensity of meaning through putting themselves to extreme and dangerous situations and transgressing various inhibitions.

The Glass Cage (1966) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2014)

The Glass Cage (1966) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2014). The Mind Parasites (1967). The Philosopher's Stone (1969) (Reprinted, Valancourt Books, 2013). The Colin Wilson Collection at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom - This is Wilson's bibliographer Colin Stanley's collection of books, articles, manuscripts, letters, photographs and assorted ephemera now at the University of Nottingham. Regularly updated by Stanley. Now contains, by arrangement with the Colin Wilson Estate, about 80 original manuscripts.

The Glass Cage An Unconventional Detective Story by Colin Wilson . This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, by mimeograph or any other means, without permission. e-book v., Notes at EOF. Back Cover: Nine Violent Deaths. Nine Quotes From Blake. For information address: Random House, In. 203 East 30th Street, New York, . Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, In. a National.

The sex diary of gerard sorme. The philosopher’s stone. By the time I moved to Los Angeles a year or so later, I was a dedicated Wilson reader, and since those early days I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting him in his home in Cornwall several times, and of writing about his work (see, for example, my book A Secret History of Consciousness (2003)).

Student Colin Wilson, Geoff Ward. Intelligent psycho-thriller. the plot is ingenious, well-turned and never facile. A compulsive damp Saturday afternoon read. Observer "Literate and enthralling. Far beyond the conventional mystery. Hollywood Reporter "I read with something like fascination this extraordinary book about a multiple murderer who accompanies each corpse with a quotation from Blake. Guardian " splendid story. a gripping thriller about lust and perversion. Sunday Times (London) A series of brutal and bizarre.

A study of time and its nature by numerous authors, including Wilson.

Translated into French, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese. A study of time and its nature by numerous authors, including Wilson.

Colin Wilson is one of the most prolific, versatile and popular writers at work today. A Division of the Collins Publishing Group. He was born in Leicester in 1931, and left school at sixteen. After he had spent years working in a wool.

Colin Wilson (1931-2013) called The Glass Cage (1966) "perhaps my own favourite among my novels". Both a page-turning serial killer mystery and an exploration of Wilson's philosophical ideas, The Glass Cage was praised by critics on its original appearance and remains just as gripping and compulsively readable today.

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The Glass Cage
Comments: (3)
Malanim
Dubbed the "Thames murders," the killings go unnoticed at first "because the complete bodies weren't recovered. In the first case they only found an arm and a leg... Might've been medical students having a lark. But in August he left the complete body--in several pieces--all piled up outside a factory wall... And on a wall, about ten yards away from the body, somebody had chalked up some words." The pattern continues and the words are eventually discovered to be quotations from the beguiling work of the eighteenth-century transcendent poet William Blake. Police turn to Damon Reade, "recognized as the leading Blake scholar in England" for help. Much to Reade's dismay, the killings are more unusual than just having quotations by Blake show up at some of the sites. Six of the nine victims are atypically male. Finding his peculiarly isolated life in a bit of a rut and wondering just what a new encounter with the outside world will be like for him, mystified by how anyone who knows the work of Blake could be a killer, and tantalized by a clue given to him by an old village "wizard called Pickingall... [who] has curious powers," Reade accepts the challenge given to him by the police and travels to London placing himself on the trail of a most baffling, unusual, and pernicious serial killer.

The Glass Cage (1966; re-issued by Valancourt Books in 2014 with an Introduction by Geoff Ward) was "perhaps my own favourite among my novels" at one time according to the prolific writer Colin Wilson (1931-2013).

Reade soon teams up with Kit Butler in London, a musician and Reade's "oldest friend." Butler is a nostalgic, "haunted, death-laden" romantic" and "seasoned with sharpness and violence, and a quality of self-mockery." With the few clues that Reade brings with him, Reade and Kit's London connections, and a handful of friends and acquaintances, the two begin to make progress in their unofficial investigation of the Thames murders. They visit the murder spots, question people related to the victims, and begin to investigate possible suspects while giving birth to and analyzing numerous ideas and theories much like a Holmes and Watson (Wilson does little, if anything, however, to draw a parallel between the two sleuthing couples.)Throughout the novel Wilson focuses on the amateur investigation which may or may not be going places any official probe is. There is no way for Reade, Butler (or the reader) to know what is happening officially because Wilson gives no notice of the activities of the police until very near the end of the novel. Thus, the extent to which Reade and Butler are making progress as well as potentially placing themselves in danger is left unknown--a tantalizing departure by Wilson from most detective stories where citizens either form a close (and sometimes unlikely) working bond with the police or the police thwart every effort they can by amateurs who would muddy the waters. Wilson has Reade and Butler encounter a diverse group of people from various London social and academic strata and he also places his characters in some peculiar settings including some of London's more down and out areas (appropriately one of which is Whitechapel--scene of the historic, horrific Jack the Ripper murders--although a Whitechapel of urban renewal from the times of the infamous and probably forever unidentifiable Jack.

Thrilling as it is, The Glass Cage is no ordinary novel of detection. As with most of Wilson's fiction, other elements, both psychological and philosophical, are quickly introduced into the work. A large part of Wilson's oeuvre was devoted to non-fiction and studies regarding the human mind (as well as the occult. For an excellent introduction to Wilson's philosophy about the human mind, see a 1993 interview between Wilson and Leigh Blackmore at: [...]. It is part of a splendid web site created by Geoff Ward). In The Glass Cage Reade extrapolates that "crime is essentially negative, like meanness or hypochondria or chronic jealousy. It harms the criminal far more than any of his victims... If men could understand their own powers--their capacity for freedom--they'd realize that the real objection to crime isn't its wickedness but... but its absurdity, its irrelevance."

Reade also explains that all humans have magical powers which are "only an extension of quite ordinary powers... but don't use them." "It's a matter of instinct, of intuition." Wilson, via Reade, clarifies that people often do not step out of their ordinary consciousness because of fear of alienation by society, but that drugs, alcohol, and sex are prime ways to loosen one's inhibitions as well as release barriers blocking one's inner consciousness. Reade argues one's emotional state plays a large role in their ability to control their consciousness or not and that most murderers act out of "anger" or are willing to take a calculated risk for financial gain. Only a few, "the true rebels... murder purely for self-gratification--sadists, sex killers, and the rest. They know they stand completely alone. They don't belong to any criminal fraternity. In a sense, they're like spoiled children who know they shouldn't do certain things, but who think they can cheat adults."

Because of Wilson's many and various real-life deliberations on the human mind and its working, readers get a most unusual character in Damon Reade. He is an academic who (at the beginning of the book) lives alone in Spartan seclusion, finds spending time "at the Druidic Circle of stones near Keswick" an excellent place to pursue his ruminations, and finds people to be "a habit--like smoking or biting your nails. And once you've broken yourself of the habit, it's hard to take up again. They taste bitter and nasty, like your first cigarette." He becomes engaged to a fifteen-year-old girl not because he really desires or love her and has a very curious history of asexuality.

Wilson makes it clear that in order for Reade to solve the Thames murders, he must step outside of his own regular thinking processes and that "his own habitual sense of vital purpose would be foreign to the murderer, whose ordinary state of mind must contain an element of fatigue, confusion." Wilson vividly brings to life Reade's process of defining the nature and the character of the potential killer. With a fairly definite profile in mind which includes that the killer is a man of excessive behaviors and quite intelligent, Reade is better able to focus his search for the killer--a man whose psychological makeup makes him both a challenge and a threat to Reade (as well as to others) as he closes in on his suspect forcing Reade to break out of his own "glass cage" of limited thinking and reasoning and enter the nightmare world of the mind of a serial killer.

The conclusion to The Glass Cage, true to Wilson's philosophy and conclusions about the human mind, is edgy, suspenseful, intriguing, and like most of the novel as a whole, unconventional and a phenomenal read. [NOTE: Wilson expert Geoff Ward's introduction to the Valancourt re-issue is extremely well done and informative. In it he reveals that Wilson admitted that The Glass Cage "was influenced by the cases of the Cleveland, Ohio serial killings of 1935-38, in which twelve victims were dismembered, and the Thames `nude murders' of eight prostitutes between 1959-65." Ward also explains that The Glass Cage is a reworking of Wilson's plot for an earlier novel, Ritual in the Dark with the earlier protagonist, Gerard Sorme replaced by the "hermetic Blakean mystic, Damon Reade... in an attempt `to create a clearer contrast between the psychology of the criminal and the mystic.'"]
Thetath
Colin Wilson, Existential Philosopher, Fiction Writer, Expert on the Paranormal and on Crime. One of the great geniuses of the 20th Century. Each of his novels is a joy with several layers to be explored and this and this tale about a serial killer which involves religious mysticism (through quotations from William Blake and a reference to the works of Alice Bailey) is no exception.
dermeco
You have to admire the calculated, underhanded, deceptive way that Bantam Books went and took a 1966 novel by Colin Wilson, gave it a `scary' cover, and marketed it as an `occult' thriller akin to `The Exorcist'.

The reality behind this 249 pp. book, released in July, 1973, is that it has essentially no `occult' or supernatural content, and as a matter of fact, its crime novel / murder mystery aspects are quite muted.

`The Glass Cage' is set in England, in the mid-60s. As the novel opens, Damon Reade,the country's foremost scholar of William Blake, the 18th century poet, is visited at his Lake District cottage by a London police detective. It seems that a serial killer is loose in London, having killed nine people to date. Some of murders were marked by the mutilation and dismemberment of the hapless victims. And where some of the bodies (or parts of bodies) were discovered, the authorities have found quotations from Blake's poetry written in chalk on nearby walls.

Reade has been visited by the London police in order to learn if he is aware of any Blake scholars who might be of a murderous or fanatical bent. But Reade cannot come up with any real suspects. Intrigued despite himself, Reade decides to make for London, there to recruit some of his friends among its artsy set, and to embark on his own investigation of the murders.

While the term `psychological profiling' of serial killers is an unknown concept in mid-60s London, as the novel unfolds, Reade comes to display an innate ability to divine the motives, and personality, underlying the gruesome actions of the `Thames Murderer'.

But when Damon Reade personally meets his prime suspect, he is beset with doubts: for the suspect seems a harmless, disaffected dilettante.....or is he ? In order to arrive at the truth, Reade will have to place his own life in danger.......

`The Glass Cage', as I said at the beginning of this review, is devoid of supernatural content, and it's not really a detective novel, either. It's mainly a literary platform on which author Wilson promotes his philosophy of `new existentialism', through the vehicle of the dialogue passages that make up the bulk of the narrative. These are well-written and make for an easy read, but at the same time, readers looking for a thriller will be very disappointed.

For me, the main value of `Cage' was its setting; Wilson perfectly captures the cultural and social aspects of the swinging London of the mid-60s, where attractive young women in short skirts are plentiful and willing, and it didn't matter if you are a bohemian artist, or an affluent businessmen. Wilson adopts a point of view in which the reader sees the London scene through the eyes of the somewhat sheltered Reade.

[Some of the cultural aspects of the swingin' 60s in the UK may be jarring to modern readers; for example, we learn that Reade is engaged to a 16 year-old girl (!) ]

Summing up, `The Glass Cage' is really a novel about the insights Wilson's new existentialism could bring to understanding human nature, including its more aberrant aspects. Fans of Wilson's work will probably find the book interesting, but those looking for an occult thriller are better off avoiding this novel.