I've just started reading Colin Wilson's 'The Outsider'. Most people my age read it in their twenties, but better late than never. A couple of things that caught my eye:
"Freedom posits free-will; that is self-evident. But Will can only operate when there is first a motive. No motive, no willing. But motive is a matter of belief; you would not want to do anything unless you believed it possible and meaningful. And belief must be belief in the existence of something; that is to say, it concerns what is real. So ultimately, freedom depends upon the real. The Outsider’s sense of unreality cuts off his freedom at the root. It is as impossible to exercise freedom in an unreal world as it is to jump while you are falling."
"… Hemingway’s early work ... is a long meditation on human vulnerability. And meditation on human vulnerability always leads to ‘religious thinking’, to Hemingway’s ‘He must find things he cannot lose’; to a development of an ethic of renunciation and discipline. It leads to a realisation that man is not a constant, unchanging being: he is one person one day, another person the next. He forgets easily, lives in the moment, seldom exert’s will-power, and even when he does, gives up the effort after a short time, or forgets his original aim and turns to something else. No wonder that poets feel such despair when they seem to catch a glimpse of some intenser state of consciousness, and know with absolute certainty that nothing they can do can hold it fast."