Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Archive

Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Archive
Radio Times
Review by:
Tom Goulding

He may have been best known for his sadistic Droogs, postmodern flair and razor-sharp wit, but how much do we know about the real Anthony Burgess? In this brutally honest account, Paul Morley explores the depths of a literary career both blessed and plagued by A Clockwork Orange, while revealing a private life at odds with the writer’s carefully honed public image.

Too intellectual for the streets of Manchester, yet naturally suspicious of the Oxbridge elite, Burgess was always on the run from those around him. Through an extensive selection of clips, we also hear how the novelist struggled with his Catholicism and hid his ambition to compose classical music. Burgess may have been prolific, opinionated, an “urbane man of the world”, but here is a conformist and, above all, a martyr.

About this programme

As the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange approaches, Paul Morley explores some less well-known aspects of author Anthony Burgess's life, such as his northern roots and his composing over 200 pieces of classical music - including the soundtrack to a dramatisation of his most famous novel. Paul visits Xaverian College, the Free Trade Hall and the Central Library in Manchester, key landmarks of Burgess's early years, as well as the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, where a catalogue of the writer's literary and recorded output is preserved.

Cast and crew

Cast

Presenter
Paul Morley
Contributor
Dr Andrew Biswell
Contributor
Paul Philips
Contributor
Dr Kevin Malone

Crew

Producer
Nick Holmes
Categories
Arts
Documentary