The re-release of the Clockwork Orange film in the United Kingdom (on 5 April 2019) provides an opportunity to revisit the turbulent history of Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation, which was first shown in New York in December 1971, with the UK premiere taking place in January 1972. To many people in Britain, Kubrick’s film is […]

1. A Clockwork Orange was not the original title of the novel. In Anthony Burgess’s diary for 1958, he begins a plan for the novel that would eventually become A Clockwork Orange. It appears he originally intended the novel to be titled The Plank in Your Eye, an allusion to Matthew’s Gospel. During the Sermon […]

ONE: He received a fan letter from Umberto Eco. They met when Burgess was living in Rome in the early 1970s. Eco, who worked as a radio producer, interviewed Burgess in connection with Joysprick, a book about the language of James Joyce. Later on, Burgess wrote favourable reviews of a number of Eco’s books, including The […]

In 2013, the curators of the exhibition David Bowie Is revealed a list of the singer’s 100 favourite books. Among the titles that Bowie held dear are novels, political books, musical biographies and comic books, all of which reveal much about his preoccupations and the influences on his own creative output. Two of Anthony Burgess’s […]

The script for A Clockwork Orange was first published in 1987, written by Anthony Burgess ‘to stem the flow of amateur adaptations’ that followed the publication of his novel in 1962. Nick Bagnall’s production at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, is a slick, shocking and well-executed show, based on Burgess’s script and using his original musical […]

A new exhibition at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation explores the connections between Anthony Burgess and Riddley Walker with artworks by Sam Meech. On its first publication in 1980, Anthony Burgess said of Russell Hoban’s novel Riddley Walker that ‘this is what literature is meant to be’. Set in a post-apocalyptic future two thousand years after […]

I went to see Anthony Burgess in the aftermath of A Clockwork Orange. I can’t remember exactly when: but I have the impression that the movie had come out, had incited vociferous opposition, and Burgess was anxious to ‘put things right.’ He was staying in Grosvenor House hotel – or, maybe, the Dorchester: anyhow one […]

Many of the manuscripts in the archives at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation contain more than just words or music. Burgess was a prolific artist, drawing in the margins of typescripts, creating title pages for drafts of his novels, and sketching birthday cards for his son, Andrew. Burgess’s first published piece of work was not […]

Direct from a sold-out, award-winning London run, director Alexandra Spencer-Jones’s electrifying, critically-acclaimed stage production of A Clockwork Orange will premiere in New York City this fall in a limited Off-Broadway engagement at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). Jonno Davies, who led the London cast, will make his New York stage debut in the lead role of […]

This copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune dates from around 1966, when Burgess reviewed it for the Observer. He was impressed by the scope of the book, and Herbert’s literary creation, revealing his knowledge, if not perhaps his love, of science fiction conventions. Dune is set on Arrakis, a desert planet on which humans mine the […]