Penn State

Eugene E. Clothiaux - Associate Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University Park

Book Title: The Mind Parasites

Author: Colin Wilson

Book Description:

Not one book but rather two come to mind when I think back on particularly memorable books that I have read. The two books are Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson. I read these two books over a two- to three-year period, during my undergraduate days, and they have come to represent the ying-yang of my ability to think creatively. In Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy grinds many of the main characters into the dirt because of their inability to think and feel in new ways. In The Mind Parasites, a book with one of the most whacked-out endings I have ever read, Colin Wilson develops a beautiful mechanism for describing our struggles to think and feel in new ways. Thomas Hardy's pessimism in Jude the Obscure drove me crazy when I was younger, but I have come to appreciate it, as I have gotten older. Colin Wilson's optimism has stayed with me, but I have come to realize that it is quite difficult to attain the degree of internal mental freedom that he advocates. The ideas in these two books have stayed with me for over 20 years. Since I can choose only one book for this event, I have chosen The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson because of its obscurity.

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