What I have done in the making of a book is nobody’s business. The rest is just waste paper. – Anthony Burgess
Between 27 and 30 June the Burgess Foundation held its conference ‘Fifty Years Of A Clockwork Orange’, celebrating the anniversary of the novel with talks, discussions, films and music. We were delighted to welcome delegates from as far away as Australia, the USA, Austria, France, Italy, Canada and Portugal, as well as many people from England, Wales and Scotland, who gave over thirty papers on topics ranging from Mods and Rockers to Jacobite rebellions, Nadsat in Russian to sadomasochism in Warhol, theological conundrums to Beethoven’s violence. We hope to publish some of the papers in a forthcoming collection. Particular highlights of the conference were the premiere of Burgess’s music for A Clockwork Orange, which was presented in a semi-staged concert at the Engine House; and a film season at Cornerhouse including, naturally, a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film of A Clockwork Orange. Keynote talks were given by Kevin Jackson (who presented his documentary film Burgess At Seventy), Jonathon Green (whose talk on Burgess and slang is published here) and Peter Kramer, who ended the conference with a look at Burgess and ‘the problem of male youth.’
We were particularly pleased to welcome a delegation from the University of Salford, who are presenting a MA module ‘Anthony Burgess and his Contemporaries’ this autumn (details here); and a delegation from our colleagues at the Anthony Burgess Centre at the University of Angers, France, who have been working tirelessly on behalf of Burgess in the Loire area.
Our anniversary celebrations continue with a landmark exhibition on A Clockwork Orange, opening from 20 August at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Put together with the help of the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the University of the Arts, London, the show contains rare books, manuscripts , photographs and film props that tell the story of A Clockwork Orange over the last half-century.