In April 1970, Lawrence Durrell came to Princeton to read. I talked with him at dinner and found him a midget with a monumental ego – his brother got him right in My Family and Other Animals. He thought the greatest benefit from a public-school education was the ability to stay calm and collected amid […]

I knew Anthony Burgess, in a passing sort of way, first, when he was the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1969-70. I had just begun my doctoral studies in English and lived with a number of other Jesuits who were pursuing degrees at either Chapel Hill or nearby Duke […]

Orange mécanique est d’une brûlante actualité ; seule manque à sa violence la dimension raciale pour être tout à fait moderne. Burgess, à qui l’on doit le roman à l’origine du film, avait inventé sa propre langue pour les nécessités de l’histoire. Kubrick avait pris de grandes libertés avec son ultime chapitre, ce qui ne lui avait […]

The audio collections at the Burgess Foundation contain several recordings of Burgess reading his own work, extracts from his novels, or lectures recorded by Liana. It is unusual to find him reading the work of other writers. A recent discovery is a tape of Burgess reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, in which he […]

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 […]

When you’re a curious school-child who trips over an enthralling writer on your journey down the shelves in your local library, you don’t dream that he will one day review your first novel. By the age of about 16 I was so repelled by the tweedy self-satisfaction of the fashionable British novelists of the time […]

In the Burgess Foundation library there is a small collection of the religious texts, including several bibles, the Quran, and several histories of world religion. Among these books is a small volume bound in scuffed leather titled Rituale Romanum. This book contains the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and is entirely in Latin. Burgess’s […]

It was the best put-down ever. Although Anthony and I corresponded over various linguistic matters, I met him only once, during a conference organized – I think by the British Council – at Bush House in London, and I think it was in the early 1980s. As that sentence illustrates, I’ve forgotten all the relevant […]

Anthony Burgess was not a prolific diarist, but the archive at the Burgess Foundation contains some notebooks with private journal entries and notes towards his writing projects. In most of these notebooks, only the first few pages have been filled with Burgess’s writing, with the remaining pages either blank or full of sketches or hastily […]

The Week-End Book, published by the Nonesuch Press in June 1924, was a staple of British households in the first half of the twentieth century. Its popularity was such that it went through eighteen impressions up to 1927, and between October 1928 and October 1930 it sold more than 52,000 copies. The book itself is […]