30 January 2019

30th January 1968 - Drop Out published

The first edition of Drop Out by Robin Farquharson was published in 1968.  In the preface (dated 30th January 1968), Farquharson wrote "I am a manic-depressive. When I'm up, I have no judgement, but fantastic drive; when I'm down, I have judgement, but no drive at all. In between I pass for normal well enough."

Before becoming a self-diagnosed manic-depressive, Robin had a high flying academic background, and as a doctoral thesis wrote 'Theory of Voting.' The work was of such a high quality that it was later published as a book. However Farquharson did appear to suffer delusions and when he was being considered for a fellowship of All Souls he rang the Warden to say he had a message from God.

Farquharson heard no more about the Fellowship.

Drop-out was his 'liberation from the fetters of convention.' The book is scribbled on notes in all-night launderettes and against lamp-posts.

At aged 37, he was older than the average hippy but did join in with their lifestyle in part, but it sounds like he could have become quite a handful.

He even tried to live without money, and tore a £126 cheque into shreds and took every coin from his pockets, 8s 7d, and threw them on the pavement. 'Free! Free! Free!' he exulted.

He lived in squats, with friends, and on the streets. There is more about him in wikipedia. Robin Farquharson - Wikipedia

He died as the result of a fire in the house he was living. Two workers who lived there were found guilty of 'unlawful killing.'

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