A previously unseen manuscript for a sequel to Anthony Burgess’s classic novel A Clockwork Orange has been unearthed in his archive.
Published in 1962, Burgess’ novel centred around Alex and his gang of ‘droogs’ – four young tearaways who fill the long, dark nights of a not-too-distant dystopian future with ‘ultraviolence’. When Alex is caught, he becomes the state’s guinea pig for ‘The Ludovico Technique’; an experimental treatment in which criminals are given a drug to induce sickness at the mere thought of sex or violence. He becomes the clockwork orange: organic on the outside, mechanical internally.
Stanley Kubrick released a now iconic film adaptation in 1972, which was soon banned from cinemas before being re-released after his death.
Now, the follow-up book A Clockwork Condition has been found among papers at Burgess’s house in Bracciano, near Rome.
As the BBC reports, The Anthony Burgess Foundation has confirmed that the 200 page manuscript offers more of the author’s thoughts on the human condition, discusses the controversy that surrounded the movie, and develops the themes from his 1962 book, and is described as “part philosophical reflection and part autobiography”.
“In 1945, back from the army,” an extract reads, “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.”
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Prof Andrew Biswell, director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, added: “This remarkable unpublished sequel to A Clockwork Orange sheds new light on Burgess, Kubrick and the controversy surrounding the notorious novel.
“The Clockwork Condition provides a context for Burgess’s most famous work, and amplifies his views on crime, punishment and the possible corrupting effects of visual culture.”
As well as a UK-wide re-release of A Clockwork Orange in cinemas this month, there will also be a definitive two month season at BFI Southbank (April – May 31) as well as the opening of Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at London’s Design Museum this Friday, running until September.