Ernest Hemingway died on 2 July 1961. Anthony Burgess was in Leningrad when he heard the news, gathering the material for Honey for the Bears and A Clockwork Orange. In a later review of A.E. Hotchner’s biography of Hemingway, reprinted in Urgent Copy (1968), Burgess recalled: ‘Many young Russians I drank with asked me, as […]
One of the key episodes in Earthly Powers is the trial scene in chapter 64, where Kenneth Toomey stands up in a London magistrate’s court to defend a fellow writer who has been accused of publishing a blasphemous poem. In the course of giving evidence, Toomey makes a public declaration of his homosexuality, which he […]
Anthony Burgess enjoyed comparing himself to other novelists, poets and playwrights. He sometimes spoke of himself as belonging to a group of writers who had emerged from provincial cities and had, through talent and persistence, made their mark on the British literary establishment. In his biography of Shakespeare, for example, Burgess suggests that, like Shakespeare, […]
Anthony Burgess came of age as modernism was approaching its peak, and the movement influenced much of his writing and music. As a young man, Burgess was inspired by writers such as James Joyce and T.S. Eliot; and, as a musician, he was excited by the revolutionary compositions of Stravinsky, Berg, Honneger and Mossolov. Reacting […]
A few months after Anthony Burgess had moved to Malta in November 1968, his personal library was inspected by officials of the Postmaster General’s Office in Valletta. Malta’s strict laws against the vilification of religion, obscenity and immorality meant that a number of Burgess’s books were confiscated and destroyed. The official documents relating to the […]
The discovery of a previously unknown text by Burgess about his favourite novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses.
On the publication of Beds In The East, 1959.