Anthony Burgess, A clockwork orange: trama e significato del romanzo

Anthony Burgess, A clockwork orange: trama e significato del romanzo

Life. Born on the 27th February 1917 in Manchester from catholic parents, he took his last name from his mother

After achieving his degree in literature and philosophy, he served the British army during World War II. He was an English teacher in Britain and in Malaysia. He lived and worked for several years in Borneo, North America and Mediterranean Europe, especially in Malta, Monaco and Rome. He was wrongly diagnosed a brain tumor in 1959. He experimented different literary and artistic genres throughout his life, such as novels, screenplays, television scripts, symphonies, critics. In his work he was capable of merging different disciplines, arts and science, especially sociology, psychology, literature, linguistics and music. He died in London in 1993.

Earthly Powers. Earthly Powers is a panoramic saga of the whole 20th century. It was first published in 1980. It was intended to be a parody of a blockbuster novel, of which the protagonist is Kenneth Toomey, a 81-year-old homosexual catholic writer, who tells the story of his life in 82 chapters. Through this narration, Toomey travels across the five continents and lives through a entire century of European history, meting some of the most remarkable writers of our time, such as Joyce and Kipling, as well as political figures such as Hitler and Mussolini.

In this work, as usual, focuses on social and political issues: among the main themes there dealt we can find: censorship, divorce, euthanasia, gay rights, as well as some catholic doctrine basic principles, such as the problem of evil, ecumenism and exorcism. Among the major events of the 20th century, Burgess deals with the Great War, the 1918 influenza pandemic, Italian Fascism, German Nazism, the World War II and African decolonization. According to Malcolm Bradbury, a bright English author and academic, the work «summed up the literary, social and moral history of the century with comic richness as well as encyclopedic knowingness».

Nothing like the sun. Nothing Like the Sun is a fictional biography of William Shakespeare. It was first published in 1964, and it mainly deals with the alleged relationships of the famous poet narrated by a teacher in the Far East, including the one with the notorious Elizabethan prostitute, Lucy Negro.
Burgess stated that the novel was a project of his for many years, and he wanted the publication to coincide with the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s birth, on April 23rd, 1964. However, this work was often disregarded by reviewers.

 

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