The Burgess Foundation’s library of books by Anthony Burgess is extremely large. It includes almost every edition of his 33 novels and 25 books of non-fiction ever published in English. It also includes the majority of the foreign editions of his work. As this library of books is so large, rare books often lie hidden among the plethora of editions.
Two recent discoveries in this library prove to be particularly revealing about how international publishers interpret Burgess’s work. There is an early German translation of The Doctor is Sick, which was published in 1968 under the title Der Doktor is Übergeschnappt. The more common German edition of this novel is the 1985 translation by Wolfgang Kriege, which is titled Der Doktor ist Defekt.
Der Doktor is Übergeschnappt (literally The Doctor is Crazy) is especially notable for the inclusion of illustrations by Karlheinz Groß (1943-2009) which have never appeared anywhere else. The 10 pen and ink drawings included in the book reflect the novel’s comic style, yet no other edition of the novel in any other territory included any illustration.
Another rare illustrated double-edition of Burgess’s novels Tremor of Intent and The Wanting Seed has also been discovered recently. This edition, for the Russian market, was published in 1993 under the title ЗАВОДНОЙ АПЕЛЬСИН (Factory Oil) and contains illustrations by Sergei Lemekhov (b. 1949).
The images in this book reflect the dark nature of both of these novels. The Wanting Seed is Burgess’s dystopia about overpopulation that takes in war and cannibalism, while Tremor of Intent is his spy novel that spoofs the work of Ian Fleming, though contains assassination, suspicion and Burgess’s ruminations on the power of Catholicism.
These editions represent a small selection from the vast library of editions by Burgess, and show that there is still opportunity for discovery within the context of Burgess’s global publishing history.