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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Burgess, Clockwork Orange et al.

Anthony Burgess, Have you read him? Probably, you like most of us, have seen A Clockwork Orange, but the story of Burgess is quite fascinating. He was a linguist, taught grammar, was misdiagnosed by a doctor as having a brain tumor and given a year to live. He began writing close to age 40 and continued for the next forty years. He was known to say he wrote for money and never turned down a job that paid.

In addition to two books on James Joyce, he wrote many fiction novels, and for clockwork orange delved into the slang of Britian and the US, Jacobean prose and Gypsy talk. His other works such as The Malayan Trilogy are quite astounding. He was known to write 2,000 words of clean copy a day. An interesting interview with the writer is found here:

In other news: the book pile grows, and grows. New inductees to the tower are James Meek's The People's Act of Love and Cock and Bull by Will Self -- pretty amazing I have not read that one at this late date. As for Meek, there's a great short story by him in Children of Albion Rovers, from 2001 -- great bit of sophisticated humor. Now with TPAOL he is working hard to be the next Tolstoy -- and as hard as he works, some of the scenes are actually very nice.