Lost follow-up to Anthony Burgess' 'A Clockwork Orange' discovered | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

clockwork orange
A Clockwork Orange' by Stanley Kubrick. Image: courtesy of Warner Bros.
clockwork orange
A Clockwork Orange’ by Stanley Kubrick. Image: courtesy of Warner Bros.

The unfinished manuscript was reportedly found among the writer’s archives by Anthony Burgess’ biographer and director of the Burgess Foundation, Prof. Andrew Biswell.

Titled “The Clockwork Condition”, the nonfiction work comprises around 200 typewritten pages and features several handwritten notes. It had been left for decades in the author’s house in the Italian town of Bracciano. When Burgess died in 1993, it was moved to the Burgess Foundation in Manchester, along with other works and possessions.

The manuscript explores the controversy that followed the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film adaptation of “A Clockwork Orange”. The film was accused of inspiring violent copycat crimes, prompting the director to withdraw it from circulation. It was only at Kubrick’s death in 1999 that it was made available for home viewing.

Burgess’ 1962 novel is set in a dystopian Britain, where teenager Alex and his gang of delinquents engage in random acts of extreme violence. “The Clockwork Condition” further develops the themes explored in the original book, including the dangers of technology.

“Part philosophical reflection and part autobiography, ‘The Clockwork Condition’ provides a context for Burgess’s most famous work, and amplifies his views on crime, punishment and the possible corrupting effects of visual culture. It also casts fresh light on Burgess’s complicated relationship with his own ‘Clockwork Orange’ novel, a work that he went on revisiting until the end of his life,” said Biswell in a statement.

Biswell told The Guardian that it would be possible “in theory” to create a publishable version of the sequel. “There is enough material present in the drafts and outlines to give a reasonably clear impression of what this lost Burgess book might have been,” he explained, adding that he had already been contacted by several publishers. JB


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