Colin Wilson: The Mind Parasites

(2809 words)

The Mind Parasites (1967), Colin Wilson’s seventh novel and his first venture into science fiction, is a compelling story which also succeeds in symbolizing his central concerns. In a “Prefatory Note” to his next novel, The Philosopher’s Stone (1969), Wilson locates the kernel of Parasites in an analogy he used in Introduction to the New Existentialism (1966):

[I]t would seem that there is some mysterious agency that wishes to hold men back, to prevent them from gaining full use of their powers. It is as if man contained an invisible parasite, whose job is to keep man unaware of his freedom. (Wilson (1966), 161)

In developing this analogy in

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Tredell, Nicolas. "The Mind Parasites". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 June 2008
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]