feeling rather bored, and then suddenly catches a glimpse of a girl pulling up her stocking, instantly he’s wide awake. You can learn from this to see your way, for example, through the kind of pessimism we have been speaking about. But on the other hand, what I have been saying today about this romantic revolution is the fact that I feel that human evolution can be explained, to a very large extent, in terms of woman and man’s romanticism about woman. That may well explain the brain explosion. I feel that the romantic revolution, Goethe’s eternal woman, draws us upward and on. This is really related to the creative process.
DJB: You have just begun to touch upon what 1 was going to ask you in the next question. What role do you think having a sense of purpose–or a lack thereof-plays in our lives?
COLIN: Obviously people are simply going to mark time. I mentioned yesterday, one of the things that struck me a long time ago, is that if you look at writers, the ones who produced something interesting and significant have been, in fact, the writers who have been forced to struggle like mad from difficult beginnings. So there’s no question of them suddenly saying, oh what the hell, and letting go. They have a very powerful sense of purpose.
Proust is an example of a writer who started off from a pleasant middle-class beginning, and although he is a great novelist, A la recherche du temps perdu, is basically a vast pessimistic cathedral that I personally have never succeeded in reading all the way through, particularly the Albertine disparue volume, which really gets me down. What I am saying is that if you’ve gone through extremely difficult experiences that have forced you, whether you like it or not, to make efforts, then from then on, you never fall back into this facile pessimism.
DJB: Could you tell us about any projects on which you are currently working?
COLIN: I have just finished a book on serial killers. I intend to do two more equally big parts to my Spider World–the first four volumes of which are out in America, and which in a sense is complete in itself already. That, as it were, is the first part. So that when it is finished it will be a twelve volume work, about twice as long as The Lord of the Rings. This sort of fantasy novel, which I started a long time ago, strikes me as one of the most interesting things I have ever done. I have a feeling that one day all kids will know my Spider World. They will know me as the author of Spider World, in the way that they know Lewis Carroll as the author of Alice in Wonderland. Apart from that, I want to write a book called New Pathways in Human Evolution, to summarize all the kinds of things I have been saying this weekend, and I’m intending to write a study of the Female Outsider.