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Anthony Burgess - Historija


Anthony Burgess

1917-1993

Romanopisac

Glavni britanski pisac i kritičar Anthony Burgess rođen je u Harpurheyu, u Lancashireu u Engleskoj, 25. februara 1917. Možda je najpoznatiji po svom užasnom djelu, Narandžasta sa satom (1962), koji je naslikao zastrašujući portret budućeg društva obilježenog nasiljem i kontrolom uma koju podržava vlada. Burgess je također napisao znanstveni rad o Jamesu Joyceu, kao i brojne recenzije knjiga, pa čak i orkestarske kompozicije.


Burgessova historija, porodični grb i grbovi

Ime Burgess preneseno je u Englesku u ogromnom pokretu ljudi koji je uslijedio nakon osvajanja Normana 1066. Porodica Burgess živjela je u Sussexu. Naziv je izveden iz srednje engleske riječi burge (i) s, ili starofrancuske riječi burgeis koja ujedno znači i "stanovnik i slobodnjak utvrđenog grada." [1]

Vjeruje se da ova linija potječe od Barons Burghersha, koji je kasnije postao Burwash, župa u toj županiji. Loza porodice također je ostala u Normandiji, jer je Simon de Borgeis tamo zabilježen 1195. [2] Ali izvorno je porodica bila iz Bourgeoisa u Picardyju, u Francuskoj. Ova linija barona izumrla je 1369.

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Rano porijeklo porodice Burgess

Prezime Burgess prvi je put pronađeno u Sussexu, gdje je jedan od prvih zapisa o imenu bio Ralph de Burgeis, koji je 1195. naveden u Sussex Pipe Roll -u. Philip Burgis je uvršten u Leicestershire 1199. godine, a Philip Burges, Burgeis u Oxfordshire 1220., 1234. Spisak subvencija Sussexa je 1296. naveo Walter le Borgeys. [3]

Spisak Hundredorum Rollsa iz 1273: Hawise Burgeys u Bedfordshireu Philip Burgeis na Oxfordshireu John le Burges u Southamptonu i Thomas Burgeys u Norfolku. Poreski spiskovi u Yorkshireu sa 179 lista: Adam Burgeys i Johannes Burges. [4]

Južnije u Cornwallu, & quotthe barton Cuskease [u župi St. Erth] ranije je pripadao porodici Burgess iz Trethingeya. Od njih je prešla od nasljednice do Hoblyna iz Nanswhydena, u kojem i dalje pripada. & Quot [5]

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Rana istorija porodice Burgess

Ova web stranica prikazuje samo mali odlomak našeg Burgessovog istraživanja. Još 182 riječi (13 redova teksta) koje pokrivaju godine 1115, 1515, 1382, 1382, 1685, 1589, 1665, 1664, 1650, 1716, 1690, 1673, 1747, 1746 i uključene su u temu Istorija ranog Burgessa u svim naši PDF produkti sa produženom istorijom i štampani proizvodi kad god je to moguće.

Uniseks duks sa grbom

Burgessove pravopisne varijacije

Mnoštvo pravopisnih varijacija zaštitni su znak anglonormanskih imena. Većina ovih imena nastala je u 11. i 12. stoljeću, u vrijeme nakon što su Normani uveli svoj normanski francuski jezik u zemlju u kojoj stari i srednji engleski nisu imali pravopisna pravila, a dvorski jezici su bili francuski i latinski. Da stvar bude gora, srednjovjekovni prepisivači su riječi pisali prema zvuku, pa su se imena često pojavljivala različito u različitim dokumentima u kojima su zapisana. Ime je napisano Burgess, Burgeis, Burghersh, Burges, Burgesse, Burgar, Bergiss, Bergess, Bargess, Bargeis, Bergeus, Burgeus, Burgeuss i mnogi drugi.

Rani uglednici porodice Burgess (prije 1700)

U to vrijeme među porodicom se isticao Sir Berth de Borways Cornelius Burges ili Burgess, D.D. (oko 1589.-1665.), engleski ministar, potječe iz mještana Batcombea, Somerseta i Anthonyja Burgesa ili Burgessa (umro 1664.), engleskog nekonformističkog svećenika, plodnog propovjednika i književnika. Sa zloglasne strane, kapetan Samuel Burgess (oko 1650-1716) bio je član posade kapetana Williama Kidda 1690.
Još 63 riječi (4 reda teksta) uključene su u temu Early Burgess Notables u sve naše PDF produkte s produženom istorijom i štampane proizvode gdje god je to moguće.

Migracija porodice Burgess u Irsku

Neki iz porodice Burgess preselili su se u Irsku, ali ova tema nije obrađena u ovom odlomku.
Još 94 riječi (7 redaka teksta) o njihovom životu u Irskoj uključeno je u sve naše PDF produkte s produženom istorijom i štampane proizvode gdje god je to moguće.

Burgess migracija +

Neki od prvih doseljenika ovog prezimena bili su:

Burgess Settlers u Sjedinjenim Državama u 17. stoljeću
  • Joane Burgess, koja je sletila u Maryland 1638. godine [6]
  • Alexander Burgess, koji je u Novu Englesku stigao 1651-1652 [6]
  • Joseph Burgess, koji je sletio u Virdžiniju 1652. godine [6]
  • Robert Burgess, koji je sletio u Virdžiniju 1652. godine [6]
Burgess Settlers u Sjedinjenim Državama u 18. stoljeću
  • Richard Burgess, koji je sletio u Virdžiniju 1700. godine [6]
  • Tho Burgess, koji je u Virdžiniju stigao 1704. godine [6]
  • Eliz Burgess, koja je sletila u Virdžiniju 1704. godine [6]
  • Edward Burgess, koji je u Virdžiniju stigao 1712. godine [6]
  • Thomas Burgess, koji je u Virdžiniju stigao 1714. godine [6]
  • . (Više je dostupno u svim našim PDF proizvodima sa proširenom istorijom i štampanim proizvodima gdje god je to moguće.)
Burgess Settlers u Sjedinjenim Državama u 19. stoljeću
  • Robert Burgess, koji je u Ameriku stigao 1805. godine [6]
  • Samuel Burgess, koji je stigao u okrug Washington, Pennsylvania 1840. godine [6]
  • George Burgess, koji je stigao u okrug Allegany (Allegheny), Pennsylvania 1847. godine [6]
  • Ann i George Burgess, koji su u Boston stigli 1847
  • Alexander Burgess skočio je s broda, "Royal Royale", i nastanio se u zaljevu Witless 1847.
  • . (Više je dostupno u svim našim PDF proizvodima sa proširenom istorijom i štampanim proizvodima gdje god je to moguće.)
Burgess Settlers u Sjedinjenim Državama u 20. stoljeću

Burgessova migracija u Kanadu +

Neki od prvih doseljenika ovog prezimena bili su:

Burgessovi doseljenici u Kanadi u 18. stoljeću
  • Gospodin Benjamin Burgess U.E. koji se nastanio u St. Andrewsu, okrug Charlotte, New Brunswick c. 1783. bio je dio Udruženja Port Matoon [7]
  • G. John Burgess U.E. koji se nastanio u Kanadi c. 1783 [7]
  • Patrick Burgess, koji se 1792. godine nastanio u St. Mary's, Newfoundland [8]
Burgessovi doseljenici u Kanadi u 19. stoljeću
  • Daniel Burgess sa suprugom i njihovo osmero djece nastanili su se u Prescottu u Ontariju 1825
  • Daniel Burgess i njegova supruga Avice nastanili su se u Prescottu u Ontariju 1825. godine sa sedmoro djece
  • Arthur Burgess, koji je emigrirao u Quebec 1850
  • Henry Burgess, koji je sletio u Esquimalt, Britanska Kolumbija 1862

Burgessova migracija u Australiju +

Emigracija u Australiju slijedila je prvu flotu osuđenika, trgovaca i prvih doseljenika. Rani imigranti uključuju:

Burgessovi doseljenici u Australiji u 19. stoljeću
  • Gospodin Robert Burgess, engleski osuđenik koji je osuđen u Berkshireu u Engleskoj 7 godina, prevezen je na brod "azijski" 5. juna 1819. godine, stigavši ​​u Novi Južni Wales, Australija [9]
  • Thomas S. Burgess, stolar, koji je stigao u Van Diemenovu zemlju#8217s (sada Tasmanija) negdje između 1825. i 1832. godine
  • James Burgess, pekar, koji je stigao u Van Diemenovu zemlju#8217s (sada Tasmanija) negdje između 1825. i 1832. godine
  • Gospodin Francis Burgess, britanski osuđenik koji je 14 godina bio osuđen u Norfolku u Engleskoj, transportirao se 29. septembra 1831. godine na brodu & quotAsia & quot; nastanivši se u Novom Južnom Walesu, Australija [10]
  • Gospodin John Burgess, britanski osuđenik koji je 14 godina bio osuđen u Norfolku u Engleskoj, transportirao se 29. septembra 1831. godine na brodu & quotAsia & quot; nastanivši se u Novom Južnom Walesu, Australija [10]
  • . (Više je dostupno u svim našim PDF proizvodima sa proširenom istorijom i štampanim proizvodima gdje god je to moguće.)

Burgessova migracija na Novi Zeland +

Iseljavanje na Novi Zeland krenulo je stopama evropskih istraživača, poput Kapetana Cooka (1769-70): prvi su došli pečati, kitolovci, misionari i trgovci. Do 1838. godine britansko -novozelandska kompanija počela je kupovati zemlju od plemena Maori i prodavati je doseljenicima, a nakon Waitangijskog ugovora 1840. godine mnoge britanske porodice krenule su na naporno šestomjesečno putovanje od Britanije do Aotearoe kako bi započele novi život. Rani imigranti uključuju:


Ovi se članci fokusiraju na određene aspekte života i rada Anthonyja Burgessa, uključujući njegovu biografiju, romane, muziku, filmove i vjerska uvjerenja.

Anthony Burgess odgajan je kao rimokatolik, a pohađao je dvije katoličke škole u Manchesteru: Memorijalnu školu biskupa Bilsborrowa u Moss Sideu (1923-1928) i Xaverian College u Rusholmeu (1928-1935). Kao dječaku rečeno mu je da je u porodici njegovog oca, Wilsons iz Lancashirea, postojao elizabetanski mučenik, iako nema mnogo dokaza koji bi potkrijepili ovu tvrdnju. Kasnije je u autobiografskom eseju sastavljenom 1977. godine sugerirao da je u škotskoj porodici njegove majke postojao jakobitski mučenik. Mučeništvo i katolicizam glavna su preokupacija njegovog romana Tremor namjere (1966), i godine Zemaljske moći (1980) implicira se da je sekularni racionalista Kenneth Toomey postao mučenik književnosti.

Očevim brakom s Margaret Dwyer stekao je veliku katoličku pastorčicu, uključujući dva rođaka, Georgea i Jamesa, koji su postali svećenici. George Dwyer, ugledni teolog koji se školovao u Rimu, postao je biskup Lidsa (od 1957.) i nadbiskup Birminghama (od 1965. do svoje smrti 1987.). Na pitanje Nezavisna u novinama za ime svog heroja 1989., Burgess je odabrao Georgea Dwyera, kojeg je opisao kao ‘a rimokatoličkog prelata u rabelaisanskoj tradiciji ’.

Pisanje o svom katoličkom dječaštvu u Hitna kopija, Burgess je rekao: „Bio sam katolik u protestantskoj zemlji, starokatolik koji je kao dijete shvaćao moja uvjerenja kao sama po sebi razumljiva i nikada ni na trenutak nije zamišljao da su to vjerovanja napadnute manjine. Moje rodno mjesto je bio Manchester, a Lancashire je dao sve od sebe da se odupre Reformaciji. Guido Fawkes i Robert Catesby pokušali su dignuti u zrak parlament u ime engleskih katolika. Je li bilo prikladno da mi djeca uživamo u vatrometu i krijesu? Religija je omela prijateljstvo i, kad je došlo vrijeme za ljubav, ljubav. '

In Bog kojeg želim, koju je uredio James Mitchell 1967., Burgess je napisao: „Bog koji mi je nametnuo moj vjerski odgoj bio je Bog koji je u potpunosti posvećen tome da mi nanese štetu. To je otprilike ono što su rekli moji starci i svećenici, časne sestre i rodbina, kao i novčić. Velika osvetoljubiva nevidljivost. '

Burgess je u šesnaestoj godini doživio krizu vjerske vjere, djelomično potaknutu čitanjem knjige Jamesa Joycea Umetnički portret kao mladić. Godine 1965. prisjetio se svojih razgovora sa jezuitskim svećenicima u crkvi Svetog imena na Oxford Roadu u Manchesteru: 'Sa mnom, u doba kada nisam mogao odoljeti argumentima isusovaca Svetog imena, to je bila neizbježna agonija jer je činilo se, čini se, protiv moje volje. Kao engleski školarac koji se bavio istorijom reformacije, odbacio sam veliki dio rimokatolicizma, ali instinkt, emocije, odanost, strah su se povukli. Joyce mi je to sažela Portret umetnika, gdje Stephen Dedalus razgovara s prijateljem izvan univerziteta uz kolonadu o svom odbijanju Crkve. '

Njegov osjećaj izgnanstva i autsajdera pojačan je kada je poslao na Gibraltar od 1943. do 1946. 'Nisam bio baš agent kolonijalizma, budući da sam bio vojnik. Nisam bio jedan od koloniziranih, budući da sam bio Englez. Ali, kao katolik, bilo mi je mjesto u procesijama Tijelova Gibraltaraca. Bio sam dio kolonije, a ipak bih uvijek bio izvan nje. Ali mogao bih riješiti svoje elemente novog i drugačijeg egzila u svojoj umjetnosti. '

Iako se Burgess od šesnaeste godine identificirao kao otpadnik i 'nevjernik', nije mogao izbjeći koji se bavi vjerskim temama, kako u njegovoj muzici — koja uključuje brojne postavke djela katoličkih pjesnika —, tako i u njegovom maštovitom pisanju. Tokom 1970 -ih i 1980 -ih, on je proizveo trilogiju dugih djela o Mojsiju, životu Isusa Krista i Djelima apostolskim: oni su objavljeni kao Mojsije: Naracija, Čovjek iz Nazareta i Kraljevstvo zlih. Svaka od ovih knjiga bila je popraćena epskom televizijskom serijom po scenariju Burgessa: Mojsije Zakonodavac (glumi Burt Lancaster), Isus iz Nazareta (režija Franco Zeffirelli), i AD: Anno Domini.

Intervjuisao Paris Review 1973. rekao je: 'Romani koje sam napisao su zaista srednjovjekovno katolički po svom razmišljanju, a ljudi to danas ne žele.'

U istom intervjuu s Johnom Cullinanom, govorio je o drugim engleskim romanopiscima koji su koristili katolicizam kao materijal za svoju fikciju: 'Engleski obraćenici u katoličanstvo obično su zbunjeni njegovim glamurom, pa čak traže više glamura u njemu nego što ga zapravo ima &# 8212 poput Waugh-a, koji sanja o staroj engleskoj katoličkoj aristokratiji ili Greenu, fasciniranom grijehom na vrlo hladnokrvan način. Činjenica je da više volim preobraćene katolike jer su oni bolji romanopisci. Pokušavam zaboraviti da je Greene katolik kad ga čitam. Crouchback -ovo katoličanstvo slabi Mač časti u smislu da sektazira knjigu. Treba nam nešto što leži ispod religije. '

Burgess je sažeo svoju vjersku poziciju u eseju 'O tome da budem katolik koji je nestao' (1967): 'Smatram da se ne svađam s cijelim korpusom katoličke doktrine koji je dao iskru vjere, sva bi načela Crkve drži me. Zaista, sklon sam biti purističan u vezi s tim, čak i nelagodan zbog onoga što smatram opasnim tendencijama opuštenosti, jeftinoće, ekumenskih razrjeđenja. “Na drugom mjestu je napisao:„ Ja sam jakobit, što znači da sam tradicionalno katolik, podržavam Stuartova monarhija i žele da se ona obnovi, a nepovjerenje je nametnulo promjenu čak i kad se čini da je to na bolje. '

Upitana o svojim vjerskim stavovima od Rosemary Hartill 1989., Burgess je rekla: 'Krist je upotrijebio izraz' kraljevstvo nebesko '— to je metafora. Mislim da se to ne odnosi na pravu lokaciju. Mislim da je to stanje bića u kojem je čovjek postao svjestan prirode izbora i bira dobro jer zna šta je dobro. '

Dodao je: 'Da mi se odjednom otkrije da je eshatologija mog djetinjstva istinita, da postoji pakao i raj, ne bih se iznenadio.'


Proturječna ideologija Anthonyja Burgessa

Uznemirujuću distopiju Anthonyja Burgessa, A Clockwork Orange, liberali su pohvalili kao dokaz A u tome kako je društvo krivo za kriminalce. Njegovog ubicu koji traži uzbuđenja Alex, nakon što je "izliječen" od svojih ubilačkih sklonosti, društvo zloupotrebljava kada se ponovo pojavi u stvarnom svijetu. Da bi se mogao "nositi" s ovim kriminalnim društvom, proces koji ga je izliječio je obrnut, a čitatelj ostavlja dojam da su kriminalne tendencije jedini način opstanka u društvu.

Ali pisac koji stoji iza ovog romana "svi smo krivi" u stvari je bio socijalni konzervativac. Burgess je želio da katolička monarhija vodi britansku vladu. Prema njegovim riječima, ti su pogledi utjecali na njegovo pisanje:

"Romani koje sam napisao su zaista srednjovjekovno katolički po svom razmišljanju, a ljudi to danas ne žele."

Iako je tvrdio da je Isus koristio nebo samo kao "metaforu", Burgess je ipak primijetio njegove mogućnosti kao stvarno mjesto:

"Da mi se odjednom otkrije da je eshatologija mog djetinjstva istinita, da postoji pakao i raj, ne bih se iznenadio."

Iako je priznao da je „socijalizirana medicina prioritet u bilo kojoj civiliziranoj zemlji danas“, osudio je socijalizam kao „smiješan“ i ustvrdio da ne vjeruje u „nametnutu promjenu čak i kad izgleda da je na bolje“.

Burgess je svoje viđenje državnog gaženja individualnih prava uporedio sa Sovjetskim Savezom, čiji su krajnji zločin za njega bili njihovi drakonski pokušaji da čovječanstvo učine savršenim.

U slučaju da je glasao nogama, autor je napustio Britaniju preko 90 posto oporezivanja Burgessovog prihoda u gornjoj kategoriji da bi se nastanio u zemlji poreznog izgnanstva na Malti.

Ali Burgessov slobodarski pogled na pornografiju osigurao je njegov odlazak s ostrva 1970 -ih.

Burgess je te stavove iznio pred konzervativnom publikom, implicirajući da je katolička crkva Malte imala „klimavu“ „vjeru i moral“ koja se nije mogla „oduprijeti naletu novih ideja“.

Pozivajući se na Bibliju, Burgess je optužio Crkvu da krši „davanje Cezaru ono što je Cezarovo“ djelujući i kao „Cezar i kao Bog“. I smatrao je da se o pornografiji treba suditi prema njenoj umjetnosti.

Ali Burgess je također okrivio "utjecaje Arapa i Kineza" na ono što je nazvao "režimom" ostrva.

Vlada Malte potvrdila je svoje partnerstvo s Katoličkom crkvom zauzevši Burgessinu kuću dok je bio na odmoru.

“Ovo je potpuno osvetoljubiv čin - gola konfrontacija između države i pojedinca ”, rekao je autor.

Svjestan autorove politike i pretpostavljajući da je u svoja djela ubacio svoja konzervativna/slobodarska stajališta (u jednom, distopijskom Zrnu koje želi, Burgess je kritizirao homoseksualnost na primjeru režima koji je prisilio svoje građane da budu homoseksualci kako bi izvršili svoje mjere kontrole stanovništva), njegov najpoznatiji roman mogao bi se čitati kao slobodarsko zgražanje nad državom koja pogazi Alexina individualna prava, a oni, a ne Alexovo sugrađanstvo, pravi su zlikovci.

Ali treba uzeti u obzir i Burgessov beskompromisni katolicizam u srednjovjekovnom stilu, jer se on direktno kosi s pisčevim libertarijanizmom.

Da je, kao što je Burgess izjavio, njegova autorska namjera u narandžastoj izvedbi proizašla iz njegovih srednjovjekovnih katoličkih uvjerenja, tada Alex ne bi bio rehabilitiran miješanjem uma, a zatim žrtvom njegovog građanstva. Umjesto toga, katolička monarhija po želji Burgessa bi bila žrtva Alexa spaljivanjem ga živog.


Napomena o tekstu

Prema njegovom biografu, Andrewu Biswellu, Burgess je počeo planirati seriju romana o imaginarnoj budućnosti 1960. U "najranijem preživjelom planu" za roman, Burgess je skicirao knjigu od oko 200 stranica, podijeljenu u tri dijela po 70 stranica po komadu. I sam je volio reći da je knjigu napisao za tri sedmice, kako bi zaradio novac. Bez obzira na istinu, a s Burgessom nikad ne znate što je stvarno i što je izumio u trenutku, prvi nacrt Narandžasta sa satom završeno je u engleskom gradu Hoveu na južnoj obali Hove 1962. Zanimljivo je primijetiti da je generacija ranije Graham Greene na sličan način istraživao teme zla, izražene u tinejdžerskoj pobuni i društvenoj delinkvenciji, u vlastitoj zabavi na "južnoj obali", Brighton Rock.

Burgess se vratio u Britaniju 1959. nakon nekoliko godina u inostranstvu u Malaji kako bi na svoje zaprepaštenje otkrio da se mnogo toga promijenilo. Živahna i nasilna omladinska kultura, sa kafićima, pop muzikom i tinejdžerskim grupama, postala je tema naslova u novinama i raširene tjeskobe o stanju države u srednjoj klasi.

Zapravo, puno izvornog materijala se nalazi u Narandžasta sa satom datira u četrdesete, a ne u pedesete ili šezdesete godine. Burgess je rekao da je inspiracija za roman premlatila njegova trudna prva supruga Lynne od strane grupe pijanih američkih vojnika stacioniranih u Engleskoj tokom rata. Nakon toga je pobacila. Burgess je svoju uhićujuću titulu pripisao različitim mogućim podrijetlima: često je tvrdio da je u londonskom pabu 1945.

Kasnije, na televiziji 1972., kad je njegov roman postao ozloglašen, rekao je nejasnije da je „naslov. izraz koji sam čuo prije mnogo godina ”. Rekao je da se zaljubio u to i da ga želi koristiti kao naslov knjige. On se opirao sugestijama da je to izmislio: „Fraza„ čudno kao narandžasta satni mehanizam “dobar je stari žargon u istočnom Londonu. Očigledno, dao sam mu dodatno značenje. Pretpostavio sam dodatnu dimenziju. Podrazumijevao sam spoj organskog, živog, slatkog - drugim riječima, života, "narančaste" - i mehaničkog, hladnog, discipliniranog. Okupio sam ih u ovoj vrsti oksimorona. " Moramo zabilježiti i nekoliko izvora koji navode da „ne postoji drugi zapis o izrazu koji se koristio prije 1962. godine“.

Knjiga ima tri dijela, svaki sa sedam poglavlja - namjerno klimanje na 21. godinu kao punoljetnost. 21. poglavlje je izostavljeno iz izdanja objavljenih u SAD -u prije 1986. godine, žrtvujući filozofsku potpunost radi narativne pogodnosti. Kada je Burgess knjigu prvi put prodao američkom izdavaču, WW Nortonu, urednik Eric Swenson, čovjek kojeg sam znao, rekao mu je da američka publika nikada neće ići na ovo posljednje poglavlje u kojem Alex vidi grešku , odlučuje da je izgubio uzbuđenje nasilja i odlučuje okrenuti svoj život. Burgess je dopustio Swensonu da izbaci iskupljujuće posljednje poglavlje iz američke verzije, kako bi priča završila na mračnijoj nozi, a Alex je podlegao svojoj nasilnoj, bezobzirnoj prirodi.

Filmska adaptacija Stanleyja Kubricka, koju je Burgess nazivao "Marmelada sa satom", zasnovana je na ovom američkom izdanju. Kubrick je poglavlje 21 nazvao „dodatnim poglavljem“, tvrdeći da nije pročitao punu verziju sve dok nije završio scenarij, te nikada nije ozbiljno razmišljao o njegovoj upotrebi. Koliko se ja sjećam pisca, Burgess je posljednje godine redovito osuđivao filmsku verziju svog romana i sve one povezane s ugovorom, uključujući njegovu književnu agenticu, pokojnu Deborah Rogers.

Burgess je bio izvanredan čovjek, mješavina mudrosti i šarlatana. Život oko njega nikada nije bio dosadan i on je bio jedan od najoriginalnijih ljudi koje sam ikada sreo.


Anthony Burgess: Ispovijesti hakerske trgovine

Recenzenti su lijeni kritičari nisu. Recenzente gledaju pravi pisci s mješavinom slutnje i prezira. Status i, zaista, fizičko stanje recenzenta sažeto je u opširnom članku Georgea Orwella. Čovek izgleda starije nego što jeste. Sjedne za stol prekriven smećem koje se ne usuđuje ometati, jer ispod njega može ležati mali ček.

Svoju pod-književnu karijeru započeo je kao istinski književna, s velikim nadama, plemenitim težnjama. Ali on je potonuo u stanje hakovanja. Naučio je trik pregledavanja bilo čega, uključujući knjige za koje se ne nada da će ih razumjeti. Zarađuje malo novca i teško da će zaslužiti državnu nagradu za književnost. Usluge pregleda ne priznaju se ni u Buckinghamskoj palači ni u kabinetu premijera. Ovaj prezirni pacov, koji gricka rubove književnosti, oplemenjen je samo time što je jedan od čopora koji je držao zatvoren u književnom uredniku. Ili, da uzvisimo životinjsku metaforu, takođe je bio i staja njegovog književnog urednika. Na ovoj slici izraz "hack" nalazi svoju odgovarajuću konotaciju.

Književni urednici, u cjelini, ugledni su članovi društva. Oni su književni ljudi na neki način što recenzenti nisu. Ako smo spremni govoriti o velikim književnim urednicima, moramo među njih uvrstiti pokojnog Terencea Kilmartina. Nikada nisam bio član tima za ocjenjivanje plaće koji je dolazio i odlazio Posmatrač, ali, kao slobodni pisac, uradio sam ono što je tražio od rada koje je tražio od 1960. do godine kada je otišao u penziju - i, naravno, nakon toga.

Tako sam ga poznavao oko 30 godina i mogu govoriti o njegovim kvalitetima. Terryja će kao književnog urednika pamtiti samo relativno uski krug ljubitelja knjiga, njegovo postignuće kao prevodioca osigurava mu mnogo veću publiku na dugo vremena. Nekad smo smatrali da je verzija Scott Moncrieffa A La Recherche du Temps Perdu bio vrhovni engleski Prust. Zatim je Terry pokazao Scottu Moncrieffu gdje je pogriješio. Po mom mišljenju, Terry ne čeka daljnje redigovanje.

Šta je zadatak književnog urednika? Nisam siguran, iako to nisam bio, iako je postojalo vrijeme, prije otprilike 20 godina, kada se činilo da bih mogao preuzeti stranice knjiga Times ili Sunday Times ili neki takav papir - svakako ne Daily Mirror ili Vijesti iz svijeta. Ovo bi bio posao s punim radnim vremenom, a svoj posao s punim radnim vremenom smatram materijalom za književne urednike koji će ga predati recenzentima.

Zadatak je tipična novina koja pretvara knjige u neku vrstu vijesti. Od miliona događaja koji se svakodnevno dešavaju, neki su vrijedniji vijesti od drugih - čovjek ugrize psa itd. Tako su neke knjige vrijednije vijesti od drugih. Nekada je postojala viktorijanska studija urbane odvodnje u Ecclesu koja se pravilno zvala Miris svetosti čiji naslov sugerira da bi to mogla biti vijest, ali naslovi dobrih književnih urednika nikada ne zavaraju. Ako postoje milioni događaja, ima i miliona knjiga, ili se tako čini. Izbor vrijednih vijesti zahtijeva više vještine nego što prosječan čitalac novina može lako zamisliti.

Za prosječnog čitatelja ne može se zamisliti ogroman broj knjiga koje se objavljuju sve dok ih on zapravo ne obradi. Šezdesetih sam bio šokiran kada sam otkrio koliko se romana objavljuje u godini. Tada sam dobio posao urednika beletristike za Yorkshire Post, vrlo ugledan časopis, koji se mnogo čita u dolinama i klubovima magnata od vune i čelika. Morao sam dostaviti dvotjedni članak u kojem je pet ili šest novih knjiga moralo biti ozbiljno tretirano i, u nekoj vrsti kodeksa, 10 -ak drugih odobrilo je frazalan sažetak - poput 'Previše se slaže' ili, prilično dvosmisleno, ' Za nesanice ', ili' Indija inkapsulirana u poppadom 'ili' Seks na Ilkley Mooru - baht više od 'at'. Kad je počeo rad, u januaru 1960., osjećao sam da bi to moglo biti dovoljno lako, jer je stiglo nekoliko romana. Zaboravio sam da je Nova godina uvijek bilo vrijeme za objavljivanje. Kako je godina rasla, tako je rasla i fikcija. Živio sam u malom selu Sussex, pa je u lokalnoj pošti trebalo zaposliti dodatno osoblje kako bi se nosilo s poplavom.

Plaća za dvotjedni članak bila je vrlo mala-6 funti u novcu prije decimalnog zapisa-ali su usputne nagrade bile znatne. Svaki drugi ponedjeljak ujutro zateturao sam do lokalne željezničke stanice, utegnut s dva kofera puna nove fantastike. Seljani, čija su sjećanja bila kratka, svaki put su pretpostavljali da napuštam ženu. Ovi koferi su ispražnjeni na podu zadnje sobe Louisa Simmondsa, prodavača knjiga na Strandu. Platio je 50% prodajne cijene svake knjige, u oštrim novim bilješkama. Ovo je bio neoporezivi novac, a moj povratak do stanice Charing Cross obično je bio nepravilan.

Prodaja kopija recenzija ostaje izvor prihoda za hakove: bez toga bi bili izgubljeni. Neki zaista siromašni hakovi - mogao bih navesti imena, ali neću - u svoje su vrijeme prodali svoje recenzijske primjerke, a da ih nisu pročitali, a moraju biti tako sjajni. Izdavački okvir daje dovoljno informacija za obradu u upozorenje. Kada je recenzija potpuno pohvalna i nedostaje joj "ipak", možete pretpostaviti da recenzent nije pročitao knjigu. Moje otkriće ogromnog broja romana objavljenih samo u Britaniji bilo je za mene uznemirujuće jer sam pokušavao primarno živjeti od povećanja tog broja. Takmičenje mi je otkazalo. Pa ipak, bilo je trenutaka kad mi se srce podiglo. Jer toliko romana podnesenih na recenziju nije bilo loše vjerodostojno. Ipak, oni su već bili štampani. Jesu li estetski sudovi zaista djelovali u izdavačkim kućama? Niko pravilno ne zna.

S obzirom na to da je u serijalu za recenziranje, novi roman Greenea ili Waugha, Powella ili Amisa, znao sam što treba učiniti, ali uvijek je postojala mogućnost da se pojavi neki novi genij. Čovjek se nije usudio ništa zanemariti, iako je u analima književnog uredništva bilo upadljivih primjera zanemarivanja. VS Naipaul mi je rekao da njegov prvi roman, koji se sada smatra klasikom, nije dobio nijednu recenziju. Moj četvrti roman nije uspio primijetiti u nekoliko luksuznih nedjelja, pa sam pretpostavio da je to zavjera, što je vjerovatno i bila.

Ako pogledate arhivu sada već nepostojećeg časopisa Punch za 1922. naći ćete recenzije Sheile Kaye-Smith i Ethel Mannin, ali ništa od toga Ulysses ili Pusto zemljište.

Godine 1939. gotovo da nije bilo recenzija Finnegans Wake, premda je pokojni Malcolm Muggeridge doprinio manifestu potpune zbunjenosti da zaboravim kakav papir. Totalno zbunjenost nije bila u redu. Finnegans Wake pojavljivali su se u brošurama pod opštim naslovom Posao u izradi sve do tridesetih godina prošlog stoljeća, a okolo je bilo naučenih članaka o egzegezi. Ali izjave poput "Smatram da je ovo masa potpunog besmisla" često se opravdavaju u običnom recenzentu. Kod kritičara je drugačija situacija.

Zaista, izuzetno je iznimno da se recenzent ponaša kao kritičar, mada bi se, s većom periodikom koja više ne postoji, dva zvanja mogla smatrati identičnim. Imamo TS Eliotov volumen Odabrani eseji, koje nisu bile ništa drugo do recenzije preštampane iz njegovog časopisa Kriterij. Kada sam ja bio student, ova knjiga, zajedno sa Williamom Empsonom Sedam vrsta nejasnoća, bio je vade mekum. Budući da je Eliot, pretpostavljalo se da je pouzdan. U njoj su bili konačni sudovi o Marlowe, Shakespeareovoj Hamlet, utjecaj Seneke na Elizabetance, metafizičke pjesnike. Neki od sažetaka su se godinama pokazali kao vrlo sumnjive valjanosti. Na primjer, Eliot je rekao da su Elizabetanci uzeli diviziju od pet činova od Seneke. Ali Senekine drame nisu imale podjele glume, već su je vjerovatno preuzele od Plauta. Epigramatika dobro služi u recenziji, ali ne i u kritičkom eseju. Marlowein genij predstavljen je kao komičan u smislu da se vratio do neke drevne mračne izvorne tradicije, ali o toj tradiciji nam nikada nisu rekli, niti smo je mogli pronaći. Hamlet predstavljao problem emocija koje prelaze svaki mogući uzrok, a mi se i dalje zbunjujemo oko toga na šta je Eliot mislio. Problem je uvijek bio u tome što Eliot nije mogao učiniti ništa loše. U svojoj pjesmi "Gerontion" koristi izraz "U mladosti godine/ Došao Krist tigar". "Juvescence" je pogrešno, trebalo bi biti "juvenescence", ali Eliotu se ne bi reklo. Taj solektizam je u Oxford English Dictionary i to treba uzeti kao autentičan oblik. Često su me šibali zbog bičevanja Eliota.

U prvim danima pregledavanja, danima Edinburgh Review, uprkos ogromnoj dužini članaka koji su dali prostor i vrijeme za istinsko kritičko izlaganje, čini se da je tradicija nedovoljne misli i pažnje i, više od toga, prenosiva bolest oholosti i čiste zlobe izgleda potpuno uspostavljena. Kako je rekao Byron:

John Keats, kojeg je jedna kritika ubila,

Baš kao što je zaista obećao nešto veliko,

Ako nije razumljivo, - bez grčkog

Uspjelo se govoriti o bogovima u posljednje vrijeme

Koliko god je trebalo da govore. P

oor friend! Njegova sudbina je bila loša:

Čudan je um, ta vrlo vatrena čestica,

Trebalo bi dopustiti da se članak ugasi.

Sumnjivo je da li je ijedan pisac ikada tako ugušen. Loš, bez razmišljanja, pregled može izazvati duboku depresiju, a ponekad i tišinu, koja je u izvesnom smislu smrt, kod osetljivih autora. To se dogodilo dramskom piscu Christopheru Fryu, koji je odustao od produkcije stihova kada su ga zlonamjerni recenzenti stalno napadali. Pretpostavljam da se mora malo razmisliti o tom pojmu "zloba", jer je sumnjivo može li to proizaći iz pukog pomnog proučavanja teksta. Tekst nije osoba, iako može pokazati neke aspekte ličnosti. Recenzenti preferiraju ličnost za svoju metu, a ne tekst, a to ih povezuje s njihovim kolegama u kolumnama ogovaranja.

Još sam pametan iz recenzije koju je izlučio pokojni Geoffrey Grigson. Uočivši veliki broj eseja koje sam objavio, rekao je: 'Kome bi se mogao svidjeti tako grub i neprivlačan lik?' Mislim da je ovo bilo nepravedno i drsko. Nažalost, to su stvari koje niži književni urednici više vole bezlično vaganje teksta.

Terry Kilmartin nije bio jedan od ovih baznih promotera zlobe. Kad je činio greške, rijetko je to bilo u području miješanja ogovaranja sa ozbiljnim ili poluozbiljnim ocjenjivanjem književnih artefakata. Bio je uravnotežen i nije čak napravio greške u ukusu, osim u jednoj prilici, kada je naslovio recenziju knjige o položaju žena u Rimskom carstvu sa "Lays of Ancient Rome".

Sam sa sobom je napravio grešku u prosuđivanju koja i dalje pomalo boli. Ovo je proizašlo iz moje greške u prosuđivanju prilikom pregledavanja Yorkshire Post. Postalo mi je pomalo nelagodno bacati svoje kritike u ono što je izgledalo kao velika tišina. Readers never responded to my reviews. I received only one letter from a Yorkshire Post reader, and that was a horticultural lady who responded to my incidental statement that British orchids had no smell. "They do, you know," she wrote, and instanced many odorous varieties.

This had nothing at all to do with literature. I got into the habit of throwing untenable judgments at my presumed readers, saying, for instance, that Barbara Cartland was much influenced by Molly Bloom's monologue at the end of Ulysses, or that one could descry the impact of DH Lawrence on Charles Dickens. Angry at the unangry silences, I determined to arouse some interest by reviewing a book of my own.

There was a precedent for this: Walter Scott had reviewed Waverley at great length in the Edinburgh Review and had not been trounced for it. There is something to be said for allowing a novelist to notice his own novel: he knows its faults better than any casual reader, and he has at least read the book. I published a novel entitled Inside Mr Enderby, which I'd issued under a pseudonym, and I reviewed this at some length in the Yorkshire Post, pointing out how obscene, how fundamentally unclean the work was, and warning readers against reading it.

A gossip columnist in the Dnevna pošta picked up my act of immoral import and gleefully reported it. I was attacked by the editor of the Yorkshire Post on Yorkshire Television and promptly, and perhaps justly, dismissed. But at that same time, I'd written for the Observer an article appraising new books by VS Naipaul, Iris Murdoch and Brigid Brophy. This could not be published, since I was now untrustworthy and might conceivably be all these authors, and more, masquerading under the name Anthony Burgess, a name that was itself a masquerade. This tremor of distrust was not typical of Terry Kilmartin. The distrust, anyway, did not last. Journalists are quickly forgiven, and this may be taken as one of the signs of the essential ephemerality of journalism. As a character in Ulysses says, "Sufficient unto the day is the newspaper thereof."

But to return to this theme of malice. In his essay on the reviewer, Orwell made a very astute remark, to the effect that most books make no impression at all on the reviewer, and hence an attitude to the book must be contrived. One must fabricate a feeling towards something that arouses no feeling. Hence the conjuring of an attitude towards the author her or himself which, since the book has wasted one's time, might as well be one of malice. I personally show malice very rarely my general attitude towards any book, however bad, is one of vague sympathy. As one who writes books himself, I know how much hard work goes into authorship hence the sympathy, which is probably not good journalism. But I can well understand why some reviewers develop an attitude, when given a book which they may not well understand or become bored with reading.

I published a novel about contemporary Russia at the time of my disgrace, and this was reviewed at some length in the Novi državnik – I will not say by whom – and considered as a literary demonstration of my homosexuality. In those days it was still a crime to be homosexual, but I do not think that malice motivated my reviewer – perhaps rather the opposite, indicating the reviewer's sexual tropism. Perhaps, perhaps not.

This review came at a very opportune time. People rarely fall in love with me, or fell at the time when I was young enough to be fallable in love with. But at this time a lady dentist had interpreted, much in the manner of Katisha in The Mikado, my affability, a natural attitude to a dentist, as lovability, meaning a willingness to engage in an adulterous relationship. She proposed that we make love in her surgery, using the dentist's chair, and for all I knew various surgical instruments, as adjuncts to the act. It was very difficult to demur, since I was engaged in a fairly lengthy course of NHS treatment.

But my lady dentist regularly read the Novi državnik, and thus she discovered from the aforementioned review that I was homosexual. I was able to tell her that I had fought against this aspect of my personality but without success. She understood, or professed to, and the dental surgery retained its clinical purity. This was the only time when a review proved useful, indeed salvatory. I never had to prove homosexuality, which would have been difficult for one who is boringly normal. I offer this anecdote to prove nothing.

Nobody really understands why reviews do so little for books, while theatrical notices can, at least in New York, make or break a play. There was a time when Arnold Bennett could promote high success with a review in the Evening Standard. This has not happened since his day. The quite incredible success of A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking owes nothing to its reviews, though much to the newsworthiness of his physical condition. Its unintelligibility – as well as the physical condition of its author – is certainly a factor in its high sales record. Because, and this is particularly true in America, if a book is not easy to read it becomes a part of the furniture: the money paid out for it has not been wasted on an ephemeral and enjoyable object. TS Eliot said that a genuine writer should give up reviewing at the age of 35, nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita. This entails, presumably, relegating the craft to the young and ill-read, the trendy, the alternative comedian. It is because of the pain that ignorance causes that some of us keep on with the work of reviewing even in old age.

Of course, old age means forgetfulness, which looks very much like ignorance. But it is through being reviewed that one learns how much ignorance resides in the reviewer. And along with ignorance, carelessness.

When in 1960 I produced a novel that dealt with London's underclass, I was rebuked by a young Oxonian reviewer for using the term "kinky" — terribly old-fashioned. In fact, during the time of erotic leather gear, the word was coming back and I was a little before the trend. These annoyances are mere gnat-bites, but a multiplicity of gnat-bites feels like the onset of malaria.

Let us go back to the ringmaster of the reviewing animals and clowns. How does the literary editor decide what is to be reviewed and what not? One way of answering the question is to consider a definition of literature as the arrangement of language to an aesthetic end. It is, I think, true to say that the novels of Lord Archer, Dame Barbara Cartland and the late Dame Agatha Christie do not fall into the category of literature in this sense. Such writers are sometimes praised, though distractedly by people who should know better, because they get on with the action and do not let words get in the way of it.

In a sense it is quite impossible to review a novel by Frederick Forsyth, because it achieves perfectly what it sets out to do. The Fourth Protocol is perfection, as our last Prime Minister affirmed by reading it at least twice. The perfection depends on limitation. It does not dare the properties which we find, say, in William Shakespeare — complexity of character, difficulty of language, the exploitation of ambiguity.

Levels don't come into it, only categories. Lord Archer belongs to Category A, Mrs Woolf to Category B. Category A tries to soft-pedal language and bring the narrative as close to the cinematic as possible. Category B regards language as a narrative character. Here is the beginning of critical wisdom, and it has to drift down to the mere reviewer. The literary editor has to contrive a balance between the needs of the lover of literature and those of the mere reader of books. Increasingly the latter establish a priority.

Book reviewers ought to be read, forgotten, and then used, along with reports of trade deficits and child abuse, to light the kitchen fire. But, to their shame, they survive in bibliographical archives. American scholars make sure of that. I cherish, as I cherish chronic dyspepsia, some of the reviews of my work that have been put together by my own American bibliographer. I will cite examples of malice that are engraved on my heart, such as it is. "Why are Mr Burgess's books so loud?" – obviously a woman reviewer. "It seems a pity that Mr Burgess's book is so bad" – another. "There is too much sex in this novel, and we are all sick of Mr Burgess's scatology." "I yawned on the first page and would have yawned on the last, if I had ever reached it." "Mr Burgess would write better if he wrote less." Tako to ide.

Should one fight back? Hugh Walpole used to do this, engaging in a kind of fisticuffs with Rebecca West, but he always got the worst of it. He also did what, in the persona of Alroy Kear, Somerset Maugham made him do in his novel Torte i Ale. He would write to a reviewer to say that he was sorry he did not like his latest novel, but, if he might say so, the review was so well-written and contained so much good critical sense, that he could not forbear to drop him a line to say so. He does not want to be a bore, but if the reviewer is free any day next week, he, Alroy Kear, would be honoured if he'd accept a luncheon invitation at the Savoy.

As Maugham puts it, "No one can order a luncheon like Alroy Kear, and by the time the reviewer has eaten half a dozen oysters and a cut of some baby lamb, he has also eaten his words as well. So that it is not surprising that, in his review of Alroy Kear's next book, he has found a vast improvement in all departments of his novel-writing technique."

A writer who, in his spare time, conducts the craft of reviewing, is in a position to strike back. But to do so, as to indulge in reciprocal backscratching, is inglorious, totally unworthy. The editor of the Yorkshire Post, a year after he'd sacked me from my lucrative post of fiction reviewer, produced a book on the Balfour Declaration and the birth of the state of Israel. I reviewed this book with unqualified praise in Country Life. The author was overjoyed and rather astonished. He was grateful for my magnanimity and invited me to lunch at the Reform Club. I was able to write back that he could keep his lunch: I liked his book and continued to dislike him. This is what is known as total objectivity of approach. Books are objects, not adjuncts of personality.

Objectivity of approach is a reviewer's right, privilege and duty. What he thinks of a book is something that subsists between the book and himself. Nor can he be told what to think and write. British literary editors, with, again, Terry Kilmartin as the supreme exemplar, are admirably disinterested in this respect. The New York Times sent me a rather boring spy novel by John le Carré, saying "As a special privilege, we are prepared to allot you 2,000 words to assess what is clearly an important book." I sent 400 words, which was about what the novel was worth. I was regarded as insulting the literary editor's taste and acumen: the author himself, of course, did not matter.

No, if one is to continue with the detestable craft of reviewing, detestable but necessary, one must maintain integrity. A book, however bad, has to be accorded sympathy, since it is so difficult a thing to produce there is no agony like the agony of writing badly. The good literary editor appreciates this, and it is a good thing for him to be confronted daily with the worse agony of trying to write well, or at least translate well.

Terry Kilmartin, giving us Marcel Proust for our time, was no Olympian residing above the sweat and headaches. Jorge Luis Borges liked to visualise heaven as a vast library, in which, his blindness cured, he was able to read for ever. I think that Terry, in whatever heaven has admitted him, will find less a library than a bureau, vast in extent, which daily, perhaps hourly, has new books dumped on its desks. The thrill of the new book, clean and shining, fresh from the binder, sustains both the reviewer and his master. Like the thrill of the sexual encounter, it does not last, but it can be renewed. And there is always the hope of a masterpiece. That's why we go on.

Literary editors live in a world of dilemmas. Journalism lives on compromise. I give a hypothetical example of the pain of choice. Two books came to me, not in my capacity as reviewer, on the same day. One was a biography of the British film producer David Puttnam responsible, among other things, for Chariots of Fire, an Oscar-winning masterpiece. The other was the record of a symposium on the so-called bad quarto of Hamlet. I had no doubt which was the more important book. The Shakespeare scholars had come up with new facts. They had worked out what this traditionally disgraceful pirated version of Shakespeare's tragedy represented. It was a blaze of light on the dark world of scholarship.

But who, among the readers of the upmarket Sunday papers, would really care? Most, having seen the film Chariots of Fire, with an easily scratchable itch of curiosity about the state of the British cinema industry, would see this biography of Puttnam, despite its being ill-written and pedestrian, as – I use quotation marks – "relevant". It's clearly not the responsibility of literary journalism of an unspecialist kind to deal with the arcana of Shakespeare scholarship. And yet one regrets this.

In the same way, the reviewer himself must not pretend to too much learning, or use words not found in the Shorter Oxford. He may not even quote Latin. Reviewing, one is always holding back, trying not to displease too much, serving the ephemeral.

I revert to this business of the plethora of books — in Aldous Huxley's novel Point Counter Point it's referred to as "a bloody flux, like what the poor woman in the Bible had". There are so many, and one wonders why. One reason, of course is the need to keep the book technicians occupied. I write fairly regularly for a highly prestigious Italian newspaper called Il Corriere della Sera, published by Mondadori. Visiting Mondadori's printing works, I saw a new edition of Suetonius and a new Mickey Mouse compendium – Topolino in Italy – being printed. They were on the same rolling sheet presumably later they would be surgically split at the spine. The total indifference of the machine was what appalled. Let anything be printed so long as printing goes on.

The true horror that's implicit in the plethora is the disposability of books, like so much garbage. Books have to appear, but they also have to be destroyed to make room for more books. Keeping a book in print is damnably difficult. We used to have the naive conviction that if a book had value it would keep itself alive, would defy the burners and shredders and recyclers and, being the precious life blood of a master spirit, continue to circulate and nourish the body of civilisation. But this is not so. Lord Archer's books are alive, while his superiors breathe briefly, then gasp, then perish.

One of the tasks of the literate is less to conserve great books, or worthy books, than to resuscitate them. I remember some years ago, appearing on a highly elitist television programme in which passages from books were skilfully elocuted by actors and then named and allocated by a team of litterateurs. When a comic passage was read out and I did not know it, I said, for want of something better to say, "Oh, that's from the novel Augustus Carp Esq." Immediately the proceedings were held up while Robert Robinson and Sir Kingsley Amis cried simultaneously: "What, do you know that book?" There had been a silent and secret underground of admirers. This had the effect of getting the book briefly back into print. Must we do this for AEW Ellis's The Rack – a novel, on its appearance, hailed as superior to Thomas Mann's Čarobna planina (it was about a tuberculosis sanatorium). It appeared in 1961, but not even its publishers remember it. How about the novels of Rex Warner, William Sansom, HG Wells, for that matter, which some of us urge on to a new public through laudatory prefaces? They breathe again briefly, then sink back into oblivion.

Meanwhile the flux continues — biographies, accounts of life in Provence, books of herstory as opposed to history, thigh and hip books, manuals of Kurdish cookery, brief histories of time. The literary editor, faced with the daily avalanche, has to choose, and often he chooses wrong. And ultimately it doesn't matter. What we read today tomorrow we burn. At the beginning of the second world war, Louis MacNeice wrote:

Die the thinkers, die the Jews

All the hungry, homeless queues,

Give us this day our daily news.

Or, if you like, Sunday news. The procession of what, by definition, is forgettable goes on, duly forgotten. Books, being part of the news, join the polluted stream that flows into oblivion.


Sutton Coldfield Local History Research Group

In Sutton in the 1630s religion was a hot topic - wars of religion had been rumbling on in Europe for thirty years, and there was a widespread sense that protestantism was under threat from the Roman Catholic church. The King James Bible of 1611 gave everyone who could read access to the scriptures, and in turn stimulated the desire to read in the population at large. Puritan ministers, such as Anthony Burgess, Rector of Sutton Coldfield, were concerned that the church hierarchy - King, archbishops, bishops - was imposing more and more ceremonial rules which smacked of popery, and everyone had a view on the issue.

Anthony Burgess was a preacher at a time when preachers could attract large crowds and when preaching was seen as tending to be subversive. Thomas Hall, the Kings Norton diarist, records that he was a diligent frequenter of the learned lectures of &ldquosundry orthodox divines&rdquo at Birmingham, and it was at Birmingham that Thomas Dugard, Master of Warwick School, on his way to Staffordshire, stopped to hear &ldquothe eminent preacher Anthony Burgess of Sutton Coldfield&rdquo. When the Civil War began in earnest in 1642, Burgess feared he would be a target for the Royalist forces, and moved to Coventry, a parliamentary stronghold, and then to London. He preached to Parliament on several occasions, urging the defence of the reformed church and the iniquity of the high church royalists.

He was a chaplain in the New Model Army, and although he returned to Sutton Coldfield when Parliament was victorious, he was often away - one of his duties under the Commonwealth was as &ldquoCommissioner for Warwickshire for the ejection of scandalous, ignorant and insufficient ministers and school-masters&rdquo. His sermons were in still in demand - he preached before the Lord Mayor of London in 1656, and many of his sermons were published. In 1657 his funeral discourse on the death of a Staffordshire minister &lsquoobtained a popularity which is reported to have been unprecedented even in that sermon-hearing era&rsquo.

Burgess, son of a Watford schoolmaster, was a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and was presented to the Rectory of Sutton Coldfield in 1635. The Sutton Parish Register records the birth of five children to &ldquoMr. Anthony and Sarah Burgess&rdquo, and he is named as officiating at marriages in the 1650s. Riland Bedford wrote &ldquoHis personal character was of the highest. He was earnestly pressed by Bishop Hacket to accept a post of distinction in the Church after the Restoration & recommended for Bishop of Hereford, but his objection to the Episcopal form of church government prevented him from accepting the Act of 1662&rdquo. Burgess refused to subscribe to the 1662 Act of Uniformity and was ejected from the Rectorship of Sutton he was one of two thousand clergymen ejected for dissent at this time. He retired to Tamworth the Sutton Coldfield Parish Register reads &ldquo28 th September 1664 - Mr. Anthony Burgess late Pastor of Sutton Coldfield was buried in the church of Tamworth.&rdquo

Title Page of Anthony Burgess&rsquos &ldquoSpiritual Refining&rdquo, 1652, copied from the volume held in the collection of Sutton Reference Library

Every effort has been made to trace all copyright holders, but if any have been inadvertently overlooked the Group will be pleased to remedy any omission at the first opportunity. The Group acknowledges the assistance of Sutton Coldfield Reference Library in providing access to documents and for permission to include photographs from their archives, on this site.

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Free will and dystopias

If I were to compare it to other dystopian novels I have read, it felt most similar to 1984. It had similar threads of seeking some form of authentic life in the face of a repressive government or hopeless prospects. In 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith finds reprieve in his mini-rebellions living with his girlfriend. In Narandžasta sa satom, Alex’s tastes are much less kept to himself: he goes out with his gang raping, beating, and stealing. Free will plays a central role in the novel, as it does in many dystopian novels.

There is an interesting commentary on socialist programs and “equity” theory. If everyone was given a fair chance to succeed– a good upbringing, enough to eat, a good home, educational opportunities, healthcare– then everyone in theory should succeed. Everyone is good at heart, right? But that’s not the case here. Alex’s officer in charge of him at school complains of his behavior:

What gets into you at all? We study the problem and we’ve been studying it for damn well near a century, yes, but we get no farther with our studies. You’ve got a good home here, good loving parents, and you’ve got not bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside you?

The problem is people have this inconvenient thing called free will. You can give them all the opportunity you want, but it still won’t guarantee that they will become productive citizens.

The government doesn’t really play a large part of the story until Part 2. And unlike 1984, the government isn’t quite a totalitarian state, but it seems clearly on the fast track to becoming one. One character comments: We’ve seen it all before in other countries. The thin edge of the wedge. Before we know where we are we shall have the full apparatus of totalitarianism… Some of us have to fight. There are great traditions of liberty to defend. I am no partisan man. Where I see the infamy I seek to erase it. The tradition of liberty means all. The common people will let it go, oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why the must be prodded–. That sounds awfully like Hayek’s discussion of how true freedom is being sold for something politicians like to call “economic freedom” today.

I don’t want to include any spoilers here. I will say that any Latter-Day Saint readers will be very familiar with some of the concepts of free will discussed here. There’s a really neat passage where a chaplain is talking to Alex about free will: What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has good imposed upon him? Deep and hard questions… It leaves you with a bit of ambivalence, because the book confronts you directly with the consequences of free will. Is free will worth it when it can cause so much pain? And this book doesn’t pose it in the abstract. You are following the “protagonist” who engages in such heinous crimes and describes them in such gory detail. You get all his horrible thoughts too. And then somehow, the author gets you to feel sorry for the guy!


The restless soul of Anthony Burgess

When future generations look back on the career of Anthony Burgess (1917-93), they may well decide that his many earthly attainments—as novelist, critic, broadcaster, linguist, composer, educator, social provocateur and sometime morale problem to the British Army—pale into insignificance next to a far more important legacy: Burgess’s contribution to the debate about man’s proper relationship to his Creator and especially his own troubled but enduring connection to the Catholic Church.

The church obsessed him. I know this because Burgess himself (who once remarked of his church-going neighbors, “I want to be one of them, but wanting is not enough”) both denied this and proceeded to talk about little else when I met him in 1987, while he was visiting London from his tax exile in Monaco to promote his autobiography Little Wilson and Big God.

Burgess, perhaps still best known for his dystopian novel Narandžasta sa satom, had a Chestertonian love of paradoxical aphorism: “Only when things are pulled apart may they be connected” is one I recall. Or: “Music may best be judged by the resonance of its silence.” Add Burgess’s mad-scientist demeanor, the twin headlamps of his eyes bulging out from the shock of snowy hair, and the amount of booze he put away during our hour together, and you can see why hardened Fleet Street journalists spoke in awe of his frequent mood swings and occasional tantrums. For all his harrumphing admonishments, however, I have to say he was kindness itself during our time together—effusively signing my copy of his 1982 fantasy, The End of the World News.

Though ‘lapsed,’ Anthony Burgess was obsessed with the church.

Burgess was raised as a Roman Catholic in the austere world of post-World War I northern England. He described his background as lower middle class and “of such character as to make me question my worth to God, and his to me, from an early age.” Burgess’s mother, Elizabeth, died when he was only a year old, a victim of the global flu pandemic, just four days after the death of his 8-year-old sister, Muriel. Burgess believed that he was resented by his father, Joseph, a shopkeeper and pub pianist, for having survived. “I was either distractedly persecuted or ignored,” he wrote of his childhood.

He attended local Catholic schools and went on to read English at the University of Manchester. He graduated in 1940 with a second-class degree, his tutor having written of one of his papers, “Bright ideas insufficient to conceal lack of knowledge.”

“As an English schoolboy, I came to reject a good deal of Roman Catholicism, but instinct, emotion, loyalty, fear, tugged away.”

A watershed occurred in Burgess’s already chaotic adolescence when, at the age of 16, he read James Joyce’s Umetnički portret kao mladić. In fact, he told me, it was one of the three “emotional rips” of his early years. (The other two involved young women.) Joyce’s Künstlerroman proved to be the defining moment of a life Burgess himself never grew tired of laying bare, even if the psychological striptease was performed with more insight and aplomb than that of the average celebrity narcissist.

Writing of this period in 1965, Burgess recalled his discussions with the Jesuit priests at the Church of the Holy Name near his home in Manchester. “With me,” he wrote, “at an age when I could not counter the arguments of the Jesuits, [life] was unavoidable agony since it was all happening, it seemed, against my will. As an English schoolboy brought up on the history of the Reformation, I came to reject a good deal of Roman Catholicism, but instinct, emotion, loyalty, fear, tugged away.”

A ‘Lapsed’ Catholic Obsessed With the Church

Endless problems arose when Burgess began his wartime service in the British Army, a period that further fueled his lifelong sense of being utterly different from everyone else. Of his three-year posting to the British Mediterranean outpost of Gibraltar, he wrote: “I was not quite an agent of colonialism, since I was a soldier. I was not quite one of the colonised, since I was English. But, being a Catholic, I had a place in the Corpus Christi processions of the Gibraltarians. I was part of the colony, and yet I would always be outside it. But I could resolve my elements of new and different exile in my art.”

After a belief in his own cleverness, this sense of being aloof or apart was Burgess’s central conviction about himself and a lifelong theme. He was always looking for it—whether as an “unreconstructed High Tory” in 1960s Swinging London or as a “robust English patriot” who chose to live the last half of his life in exile. Burgess’s idea of a good holiday was to sit on the sun-kissed grounds of a Tuscan villa writing fondly of Manchester in the winter. “I am a contrarian,” he admitted.

Nowhere was Burgess’s impressive ability to annoy both ends of the spectrum on a particular subject better demonstrated than in his religion. Although he proudly identified himself as an “unbeliever” from the age of 16, he continually returned to spiritual themes, whether in his novels, his poems or his screenwriting of the acclaimed 1977 miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth.” Burgess told me in 1987 that this aspect of his life was “an endlessly scratched itch.” Not that he ever for a moment identified with other prominent Roman Catholic authors of his generation (again shunning the lure of the club), telling The Paris Review in 1973 that he felt himself to be “quite alone. the novels I’ve written are really medieval Catholic in their thinking, and people don’t want that today.”

Unlike him, Burgess continued, even the greatest of English Catholic writers “tend to be bemused by the Church’s glamour, and even look for more glamour than is actually there—like [Evelyn] Waugh, dreaming of an old English Catholic aristocracy, or [Graham] Greene, fascinated by sin in a very cold-blooded way. I try to forget that Greene is a Catholic when I read him. Crouchback’s Catholicism weakens [Waugh’s] Sword of Honour in the sense that it sentimentalises the book. We need something that lies beneath religion.”

About 50 years ago, the British comedian Peter Cook performed a sketch about the doggedly reclusive Greta Garbo in which, adorned by a blonde wig, he stood up in the back of an open-topped car shouting “I vant to be alone!” through a megaphone. Burgess gave the same impression of wanting it both ways when he insisted that he was not the least bit obsessed with the subject of religion.

“I am very far from consumed by curiosity about man’s proper relation to his Maker, let alone the eschatological sanctions of the Roman Church,” he told me when we met, in language that perhaps suggests the opposite was true. In February 1967, when he turned 50, Burgess felt moved to write a syndicated essay that he titled “On Being a Lapsed Catholic.”

It was almost as though annoying his fellow Catholics was a solemn Christian duty.

It was not that Burgess had become any less worthy, charitable or compassionate, he insisted in his essay, after ceasing to believe. Daleko od toga. “The desire to be good. has attained a sharp relish through being more an end in itself,” he wrote. “I have sinned against the Commandments of the Church, but so has the greater part of mankind.” It was almost as though annoying his fellow Catholics was a solemn Christian duty. After condemning the church for its intransigence and vowing never to return, Burgess then rebuked the church for the loosening of its traditional moral guardrails in the 1960s.

“Indeed, I tend to be puristic about [this],” Burgess wrote, “even uneasy about what I consider to be dangerous tendencies to slackness, cheapness, ecumenical dilutions. My cousin is an archbishop when I went to his enthronement I was appalled at the pedestrian nature of the English liturgy, the demotic sickliness of ‘Soul of My Saviour’, which I had thought the Church to have long discarded as a shameful bit of cheap sugar, and the general weakening of the nobility of the Mass—once either gorgeously baroque or monastically austere.”

The fact that he had once called on the Catholic Church to become more “relevant,” Burgess seemed to be saying, was no reason to assume he actually wanted it to happen. As he once wrote, “I’m a Jacobite, meaning that I’m traditionally Catholic, support the Stuart monarchy and want to see it restored, and distrust imposed change even when it seems to be for the better.” Asked about his religious views later in life, Burgess said: “I don’t think the kingdom of heaven is a real location. I think it is a state of being in which one has become aware of the nature of choice, and one is choosing the good because one knows what good is.”

Characteristically, Burgess added, “If it was suddenly revealed to me that the eschatology of my childhood was true, that there actually was a hell and a heaven, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

‘I Will Opine on Almost Anything’

Something of this same casuistry can be seen in the pages of Burgess’s published canon, most famously his panoramic novel Earthly Powers. The book’s decidedly unreliable narrator, 81-year-old Kenneth Toomey (the Burgess alter ego) is essentially agnostic, in contrast to his friend Carlo Campanati, who sees life as part of a cosmic jest of unfathomable cruelty and who goes on to be elected pope. “A saint,” Campanati says, “has to modify the world in the direction of being more aware of the presence of God in it.” An author, Toomey’s priorities are different: “I can’t accept that a work of fiction should be either immoral or moral. It should merely show the world as it is and have no moral basis.”

Some critics saw Earthly Powers as a profound rumination on good and evil and, more particularly, a satirical tour d’horizon of everything from the Nazis to gay marriage as seen through the eyes of Campanati, the dates of whose papal election and death correspond to those of Pope John XXIII. Might it be, however, that the book is less of a scholarly meditation on sin per se and more an occasion for Burgess to indulge in the sort of verbal fireworks he did better than any other contemporary writer?

Burgess is perhaps still best known for this dystopian novel, A Clockwork Orange. Here men at the 2016 Venice Carnival are dressed as characters from the film version of the book. (Photo: AP)

When I politely asked him about this, he exhaled a great cloud of cigarillo smoke and laughed at the question. “My dear boy,” he said at length, “I will opine on almost anything to pay the bills.” Indeed, I found that in the years immediately before publishing Earthly Powers, Burgess had gone into print with a Time-Life guide to New York City, a verse novel about Moses and a book review that dwelt at length on the minutiae of car maintenance in winter. “It is all one to me,” he announced. There was no particular merit to writing about the papacy as opposed to “discussing the optimum brand of antifreeze for the family Ford.”

That, I think, was Burgess all over. He wanted it both ways and every way—the lapsed Catholic who, like one of his characters in 1962’s The Wanting Seed, takes “a sort of gloomy pleasure in observing the depths to which human behavior can sink” and the overgrown schoolboy who reveled in his own powers of invention, which frequently veered toward the parodical or even cartoonish, and for whom the great questions about man’s purpose on earth were merely another occasion for the pyrotechnic display of his fabulous literary gifts.


Works:

The Works of Anthony Burgess available in old English:

1. A Demonstration of the Day of Judgment, against Atheists & Hereticks … Preached at St. Pauls, May 11. 1656. 12vo. pp. 70. For T. Underhill: London, 1657.
2. The Difficulty of, and Encouragements to a Reformation : A sermon preached from Mark i. 2, 3, before the Honourable House of Commons, at the publike fast, Septem. 27. 1643. 4to. pp. 28. R. Bishop for Thomas Underhill: London, 1643.
3. The Doctrine of Original Sin, Asserted & Vindicated against the old and new Adversaries thereof, Socinians, Papists, Arminians, and Anabaptis ts. And practically improved for the benefit of the meanest capacities. To which is added a digressive Epistle concerning Justification by Faith alone, etc. Folio. pp. 555. Abraham Miller for Thomas Underhill: London, 1659.
4. An Expository Commentary on the whole first Chapter of 2 Cor. Folio. pp. 697. London, 1661.
5. Judgments Removed, where Judgment is Executed : A sermon preached from Psalm 106:30-31 to the Court-Martial in Lawrence-Jury, London, 5th of Sept. 1644. Being the day of their solemn seeking of the Lord for his blessing upon their proceedings. 4to. pp. 13. M. Simmons for Thomas Underhill: London, 1644.
6. The Magistrate’s Commission from Heaven: Declared in a sermon preached from Rom. 13:4. in Lawrence-Jury, London, the 28th of Sept. 1644. at the election of the Lord Major. 4to. pp. 20. George Miller for Thomas Underhill: London, 1644.
7. One Hundred and forty-five Expository Sermons upon the whole 17th chapter of the Gospel according to John : or, Christ’s Prayer before his Passion explained, and both practically and polemically improved. Folio. pp. 672. Abraham Miller for Thomas Underhill: London, 1656.

8. Paul’s last Farewell, or a Sermon, preached at the Funerall of…Mr. Thomas Blake . . . With a funeral Oration made at Mr. Blake’s death by Samuel Shaw, etc. 4to. pp. 24. For Abel Roper: London, 1658.
9. Publick Affections, Pressed in a sermon preached from Numb. 11:12 before the Honourable House of Commons…upon the solemn day of Humiliation, Febr. 25. 1645. 4to. pp. 23. J. Y. for Thomas Underhill: London, 1646.
10. The Reformation of the Church to be endeavored more than that of the Common-Wealth: declared in a sermon preached from Judges 6:27-29. before the Right Honourable House of Lords, at the publike fast, Aug. 27. 1645. 4to. pp. 27. G. M. for T. Underhill: London, 1645.
11. Rome’s Cruelty and Apostacie: declared in a Sermon preached from Rev. xix. 2. on the 5th of November, 1644, before the Honourable House of Commons. 4to. pp. 21. George Miller for Tho. Underhill: London, 1645.
12. The Scripture Directory, for Church Officers and People: or, A Practical Commentary upon the whole third chapter of the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. To which is annexed the Godly and the Natural Man’s Choice, upon Psal. 4. vers. 6-8. 4to. 2 pt. Abraham Miller for T. U.: London, 1659.
13. Spiritual Refining: or, A Treatise of Grace and Assurance. Being CXX sermons, etc. Folio pp. 696. A. Miller for Thomas Underhill: London, 1652.
14. Spiritual Refining: Part 2. or, A Treatise of Sin, with it’s Causes, Differences, Mitigations, and Aggravations. 4to. pp. 368. London, 1654.
15. A Treatise of Self-Judging, in order to the worthy receiving of the Lords Supper. Together with a Sermon of the generall Day of Judgement. 12vo. 2 pt. J. H. Underhill & M. Keinton: London, 1658.
str. The True Doctrine of Iustification Asserted and Vindicated, from the Errors of Papists , Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians: In thirty lectures preached at Lawrence-Iury, London. Part I. 4to. pp. 275. Robert White for Thomas Underhill: London, 1648.
q. The True Doctrine of Justification asserted & vindicated from the Errours of many, and more especially Papists and Socinians. Or, a Treatise of the Natural Righteousness of God, and Imputed Righteousness of Christ. (A Treatise of Justification. Part II). 4to. pp. 456. For Thomas Underhill: London, 1654.
r. Vindiciae Legis: or, A Vindication of the Morall Law, and the Covenants, from the Errours of Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians: In twenty-nine lectures, preached at Lawrence-Jury, London. 4to. pp. 271. James Young for T. Underhill: London, 1646

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