I’ve managed to get my hands on a banned book! I feel really pleased with myself and a little excited. To be honest the book is not banned as such by law in the same way that many books were banned under the former Communist or Nazi regimes. It was published in two editions, firstly in 1957 as The Divine and The Decay and then in 1983 with a new title, The Leap!, and a foreword by Colin Wilson. It is a copy of this second edition that I managed to buy off Amazon for £30; copies of the original sell for hundreds. As I said, the book was not banned by law, but it was “voluntarily recalled” by the publisher and every unsold copy was pulped.
The author is a man called Bill Hopkins who was born in 1928 and was famous in the post-war decades for being included as part of the “Angry Young Men” literary school, along with other notable writers like Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Kingsley Amis and Colin Wilson. He only ever managed to get this one novel published. He wrote a second one, but it never stood a chance with any publisher for the same reason that his first was destroyed. I’ve not read the book yet, but it is said to have “fascistic sympathies”. The political Left-wingers went on a rampage, attacking the book and its author with the kind of ignorance and venom that the Left excels at. Basically they were the same kind of people who gave David Icke such a hard time in Canada, see: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2912878405399014351# . Today Hopkins is largely ignored by the mainstream. The book is a political thriller whose anti-Hero is Peter Plowart, a ruthless and power-hungry statesman who seeks refuge on Vachau, an imaginary isle in the Channel Islands to provide an alibi for his assassination of a political rival. The work is said to be Nietzschean, inspired by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. (Here’s some background articles on philosophy: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2010/11/meaning-of-life.html and: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-burning-darkness.html ) Nietzschean artworks are renowned for their pitilessness, and dark and potent harshness, “killing God” as Nietzsche put it. They are completely devoid of all sensitivity, compassion and political correctness.
The copy I’ve got is signed and dedicated to somebody called “Barry”. There’s a covering letter folded inside from a friend of the author’s. Considering this it really was a bargain. I’ve written to the Amazon seller to tell them that if they have any more signed and/or dedicated copies then they might consider bumping up the price a bit. I look forward to reading it. I may not agree with all the book’s philosophies, or I may agree with them and not find them objectionable at all (After all I don't find David Icke objectionable), but I’m very curious. As far as its “fascism” goes, the only real fascists involved with this book are the ones who attacked it in the first place. Destroying books: the very cipher of barbarism.