Reading Ulysses by James Joyce was perhaps the first time that Anthony Burgess had experienced forbidden literature. He first read Ulysses as a school boy, though his recollections of the event are inconsistent. In Little Wilson and Big God, he claims a teacher ‘had brought it back from illiberal Nazi Germany in the two-volume Odyssey […]

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 […]

He wasn’t exactly what we expected. No, my brothers. He was not like Alex, nor even like one of his three droogs. ‘Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed,’ he began reading to us. Flashbulbs popped. The New York Times. […]

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 […]

Many of the stories about about Anthony Burgess’s first wife Llewela (or Lynne, as she was known), focus on her boisterous personality, and insatiable thirst. These caricatures follow Burgess’s own writing about his first wife in his autobiographies, but they offer little insight into her complex, and often contradictory, personality. The library at the Burgess […]

I knew Anthony Burgess best during an intense seminar in Monte Carlo. In 1990, at the height of the Gabler-Kidd-Stephen Joyce controversy over the new Gabler text, Burgess had decided views which evolved and changed during the course of the deliberations. I was instrumental in bringing out that change and in recording his intelligent and […]

I remember both Anthony and Liana Burgess well and with affection. The first time I met Anthony Burgess was after the publication of his book A Shorter Finnegans Wake. I was then an undergraduate in Trinity College Dublin and presented a paper to the Philosophical Society about James Joyce circa 1964. Anthony Burgess was the […]

The discovery of a previously unknown text by Burgess about his favourite novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Reading Anthony reading Marilyn reading Ulysses. By Will Carr.