A Lost Sequel to ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Was Just Discovered

The 200 previously unseen pages include Anthony Burgess's thoughts on crime, technology and reactions to the film adaptation

A Clockwork Orange
Archivists just found a non-fiction sequel to Anthony Burgess's most famous book (Penguin)
By Kirk Miller / April 25, 2019 11:27 am
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“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.”
 
Anthony Burgess was prescient. A previously unknown manuscript by the late author was recently unearthed in his archive, according to the BBC. The 200-page A Clockwork Condition is a follow-up to his seminal dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, highlighting Burgess’s “thoughts on the human condition.”
 
The book, unfinished, is somewhere between an autobiography and a “major philosophical statement,” according to notes from Burgess, where he also ponders the effects of technology and popular culture on humanity, and even critiques the initial backlash to Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork film adaptation.
 
One interesting note: In the uncovered work, Burgess explains the title of his famous novel. “In 1945, back from the army,” he wrote, “I heard an 80-year-old Cockney in a London pub say that somebody was ‘as queer as a clockwork orange’. The ‘queer’ did not mean homosexual: it meant mad … For nearly twenty years I wanted to use it as the title of something … It was a traditional trope, and it asked to entitle a work which combined a concern with tradition and a bizarre technique.”
 
No word on whether A Clockwork Condition will be released commercially.
 

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