A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.

Anthony Burgess at 100

Sean Bell

TRYING to explain Anthony Burgess, even 23 years after his death, is an anxious exercise; there are too many books, so many legends, and no matter how much one analyses his career, it will always seem incomplete and inconclusive. Still, at the centenary of his birth, Burgess deserves reconsideration, even if Grub Street didn’t deserve him. This matador’s suit of lights, now dusty and somewhat unfashionable, was the improbable array of talents that illuminated English letters so wildly and promiscuously in the postwar decades, each reflected in the facets of the others.

Yet as dazzling as Burgess could be – and as the fearsome, chimerical bulk of his bibliography still is – much of his legacy awaits rediscovery in an age th… Continue Reading (6 minute read)

12 thoughts on “A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.”

  1. definetlynotdrunk

    Three weeks… WOW

  2. your_moms_apron

    Now THAT’S love. Here honey, I wrote this crazy violent book in its own slang to help take care of you bc I’m not sure that I will always be able to.

  3. ryovyse

    Not mentioned here is he would take amphetamines to help him write 3,000 words each day.

  4. Sepia_Panorama

    >misdiagnosed with brain cancer

    Wow, takes some real yarbles to write a novel when you’re bolnoy in the gulliver and all that cal.

  5. tilt-a-whirly-gig

    adage: no great story ever started with a glass of milk

    Anthony Burgess: hold my moloko.

  6. alienanimal

    I love this novel for its use of the faux-slang language. The first chapter is super tough to read and completely unintelligible, however by chapter 2 you begin to understand what all the slang means and it starts to make sense. By the book’s end, it all reads naturally and you feel like you understand a foreign language.

  7. bolanrox

    his wife had also been raped by US GI’s stationed in the UK

  8. 1320Fastback

    Excellent movie. I did a written report on it as it was not on our schools banned list. It is now.

  9. WeaselShoes

    I have this book and it is legit one of the most difficult things I’ve ever read. With all of the slang and whatnot. Felt like it was written in a foreign language. I finally got thru the book after reading it on and off for 2 years. It’s a wonderful novel. But my god is it hard to get thru imo.

  10. NoKenjataimu

    He was cured, all right!

  11. catnmoose

    Damn. Really makes you think about what you could accomplish if you were in the same situation-thinking you had 1 year left to live. I kind of want to go forward with that mindset

Leave a Comment