Colin Wilson: Existential Criticism: selected book reviews

(1002 words)

When Colin Wilson published an essay entitled “Existential Criticism and the Work of Aldous Huxley” in The London Magazine (vol. 5, no. 9, p. 46-59) in 1958, a reader complained in the next issue that, as far as he could tell, existential criticism differed from ordinary literary criticism only in its pretentiousness. This prompted Wilson to clarify his position by writing his groundbreaking essay, “Existential Criticism”, first published in The Chicago Review (Vol. 13, no. 2, 1959, p. 152-181). In it he declared that:

A literary critic turns without embarrassment from Milton to Dostoevsky, from Jane Austen to Shaw. Such nonchalance may be envied by the existential critic, but he …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Stanley, Colin. "Existential Criticism: selected book reviews". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2013
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]