Friday, February 22, 2019

Getting his due …

… The dizzying fiction of Anthony Burgess | Margaret Drabble. (Hat tip Dave Lull.)

The latest batch of Foundation-approved Burgess titles is characteristically eccentric and eclectic. We have Puma, an end-of-the-world science fiction novel originating in 1975, in a project for the screenplay of a disaster movie, rescued from various Hollywood rewrites (and authorial procrastination) by this Irwell edition; Beard’s Roman Women, a novel originally published in Britain in 1977; Obscenity and the Arts, a collection of Maltese-oriented essays and musical scores and photographs (some amateur, by Liana) introduced by Burgess’s biographer Andrew Biswell; and The Black Prince, a historical novel by Adam Roberts adapted from an original script by Burgess, and published by the crowdfunded press Unbound, with warm acknowledgements to Biswell and the Foundation. These works give a sense of the dizzyingly wide range of Burgess’s fiction, which extends far beyond the better-known terrain of the social and verbal comedy to be found in the early Malayan trilogy and Enderby novels, the dangerous inventiveness of A Clockwork Orange (1962) and the ambition of his late masterpiece, Earthly Powers (1980).

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