Literature, Words, Good food & Wine and other delicious conundrums

Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

I was perusing the latest copy of The Spectator (29th September,

it arrives in Muscat a week late) and was fascinated to

see that it is the 50th Anniversary of A Clockwork Orange‘.

As a youngster, growing up in South Africa, I remember the

Stanley Kubrick 1972 movie was banned (as were most

things in the Apartheid Era).

When I did get to see the movie, as an adult,

the sheer brutality was disturbing and shocking!

I still think of Malcom McDowell‘s bowler hat,

false eyelash and malevolent stare!

Roger Lewis, in The Spectator, writes a great article

where he describes Burgess as “rollicking, he was

shameless and he was a self-invention”.

Anthony Burgess, the pen-name of a former Branbury

schoolteacher called John Wilson was “a nervous

chap who for a staff-pupil cricket match wore a

tweed jacket and bowled underarm.”

Lewis writes that “though Burgess claimed to live as a

tax exile in Monte Carlo, whenever I met

John Wilson he was staying in

Twickenham and drawing his old-age pension.

He had odd ideas about money.  

If a newspaper commissioned an article,

payment had to be made in cash,

the brown envelope left at the reception

desk of a hotel in Grosvenor Square.  If pressed,

he maintained that he mostly lived

in a Bedford Dormobile.  

His plan was to criss-cross national boundaries

to avoid residency restrictions for tax purposes.”

In its day the movie version was an outrage,

particularly the rape-scene .  .  .

nowadays turn on the TV and scenes like this are the norm!!

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