More on Burgess


In an intense desire to practice the discipline of responding only to what is asked and to staying on topic, I excised from a response below a number of comments that I wanted to make public any way. The joy of owning a blog is the ability to do so at will.

In the review of the book 99 Novels I should have added one of Burgess's books to the list he presented. Indeed, the one most people would consider--A Clockwork Orange. Burgess himself, no mean self-promoter, actually suggests this possibility in his foreword, but it is certainly deserving. I think he learned an extremely valuable lesson from Finnegans Wake which he put to good use in the creation of Alex and his droogs.

In addition to his fiction, the literary world owes him a great deal for many works attempting to explain one of the twentieth Century Masters. He undertook A Shorter Finnegans Wake as well as the remarkable Joysprick which is a guide to the language of Finnegans Wake nearly completely encompassed in the title which can be parsed to a German version of Joyce Talk, or Joy talk, or the more priapic connotations that can clearly be discerned in Finnegans Wake.

I haven't read a lot of Burgess's fiction, but his contribution and promotion of Joyce's cryptic, comic, cosmic, nightmare of a novel are useful to anyone interested in trying it on for size. And his creation of the cultural icons of Alex and his droogs with their regressive amorality brought to the screen by Stanley Kubrick has added immeasurably to our vista of sociopathy and its discontents.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on May 30, 2006 8:02 PM.

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