Saturday, December 16, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Anthony Burgess (1917 – 1993)


English writer whose novels include the Malayan trilogy, A Clockwork Orange, the Enderby cycle, Nothing Like The Sun, Earthly Powers and The Kingdom Of The Wicked.
Anthony Burgess
If one does not wish to be dissatisfied with one’s lot at home, one ought to go where the flies and the stinks are, which means the Middle East. This is also a good way of reconciling oneself to one’s laws and police force and the probity of one’s magistrates. The really great British travellers, like Charles M. Doughty for instance, to say nothing of ‘Eothen’ Kinglake, always went East, but not too far East. When you get to Southeast Asia you find no dirt or flies but the suspicion that you are in a tropical paradise, and then you go to pieces. It is essential, when travelling, to feel that you belong to a superior civilization, and the lands of the Arabs lavishly grant opportunities to nourish this conviction....
Burgess quotes
'How can slaves be sent by Allah? You all have hairless faces, the mark of the bondman.'
Burgess
Oh, it was gorgeosity and yumyumyum. When it came to the Scherzo I could viddy myself very clear running and running on like very light and mysterious nogas, carving the whole litso of the creeching world with my cut-throat britva. And there was the slow movement and the lovely last singing movement still to come. I was cured all right.




Burgess Anthony quotes
I think we had all established that Burgess was not altogether a good egg.
Burgess Anthony
All art preserves mysteries which aesthetic philosophers tackle in vain.
Anthony Burgess quotes
I had felt sick before and had been saved by Sekt. Now I was beginning to feel sick of the Sekt. I would, I knew, shortly have to vomit.... I started gently to move towards one of the open windows. The aims of the artistic policy enunciated by the National Chamber of Film might, said Goebbels, be expressed under seven headings. Oh Christ. First, the articulation of the sense of racial pride, which might, without reprehensible arrogance, be construed as a just sense of racial superiority. Just, I thought, moving towards the breath of the autumn dark, like the Jews, just like the. This signified, Goebbels went on, not narrow German chauvinism but a pride in being of the great original Aryan race, once master of the heartland and to be so again. The Aryan destiny was enshrined in the immemorial Aryan myths, preserved without doubt in their purest form in the ancient tongue of the heartland. Second. But at this point I had made the open window. With relief the Sekt that seethed within me bore itself mouthward on waves of reverse peristalsis. Below me a great flag with a swastika on flapped gently in the night breeze of autumn. It did not now lift my heart; it was not my heart that was lifting. I gave it, with gargoyling mouth, a litre or so of undigested Sekt. And then some strings of spittle. It was not, perhaps, as good as pissing on the flag, but, in retrospect, it takes on a mild quality of emblematic defiance...
Anthony Burgess
[Youth] is only being in a way like it might be an animal. No, it is not just like being an animal so much as being like one of these malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like little chellovecks made out of tin and with a spring inside and then a winding handle on the outside and you wind it up grrr grrr grrr and off it itties, like walking, O my brothers. But it itties in a straight line and bangs straight into things bang bang and it cannot help what it is doing. Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines.
Burgess Anthony quotes
The Christian ecumenical movement will have reached its limit, meaning that Catholicism will have turned into Protestantism and Protestantism into agnosticism....But Islam will not have lost any of its rigour....Supernature abhors a supervacuum. With the death of institutional Christianity will come the spread of Islam.
Burgess
Is this really true? If we take an average day in the life of the average man we seem to see very little evidence of concern with the sciences and the arts. The average man gets up, goes to work, eats his meals, reads the newspapers, watches television, goes to the cinema, goes to bed, sleeps, wakes up, starts all over again. Unless we happen to be professional scientists, laboratory experiments and formulae have ceased to have any meaning for most of us; unless we happen to be poets or painters or musicians—or teachers of literature, painting, and music—the arts seem to us to be only the concern of schoolchildren. And yet people have said, and people still say, that the great glories of our civilisation are the scientists and artists. Ancient Greece is remembered because of mathematicians like Euclid and Pythagoras, because of poets like Homer and dramatists like Sophocles. In two thousand years all our generals and politicians may be forgotten, but Einstein and Madame Curie and Bernard Shaw and Stravinsky will keep the memory of our age alive.
Burgess Anthony
My dear Hardman,
It was pleasant... I am sorry that your Oriental venture has not been going as well as you expected. But, then, I think that the days when a man could expect to make his fortune in the East are dead and gone. Indeed, the time seems to have come for the reverse of the old process to apply, and for the East to dominate the West.
Anthony Burgess
...even the police discussed this violence as possibly coming within the scope of their terms of reference.




Anthony Burgess quotes
What we used to think of as exotic can now only be found in countries that cannot afford Americanization. Meaning no home comforts, peppers, unleavened bread. It is a kind thing to take one’s bit of tourist money there, to the deserving, and not put it in the hands of the disdainful Nicois or Cannois. If you can get into a country which is politically oppressed, that too is a good thing for the natives, for you are bringing a breath of freedom. Increasingly, perhaps, one ought to be travelling for the benefit of those who cannot afford or are not permitted to travel. We all belong to one another now, and no foreign country ought to be merely a sideshow....
Anthony Burgess
Disgusting, ridiculous, when other people did it.
Burgess quotes
“I should want to go home, like Fenella. I should be so tired of the shambles here, the obscurantism, the colour-prejudice, the laziness and ignorance, as to desire nothing better than a headship in a cold stone country school in England. But I love this country. I feel protective towards it. Sometimes just before dawn breaks, I feel that somehow I enclose it, contain it. I feel that it needs me. This is absurd, because snakes and scorpions are ready to bite me, a drunken Tamil is prepared to knife me, the Chinese in the town would like to spit at me, some day a Malay boy will run amok and try to tear me apart. But it doesn’t matter. I want to live here; I want to be wanted. Despite the sweat, despite the fever, the prickly heat, the mosquitoes, the terrorists, the fools at the bar of the club, despite Fenella.”
Burgess Anthony
...The fucking heat and the flies and scorpions and all this fucking sand....These fucking great swarms of black flies had plenty to drink, which was the sweat on our necks and faces. In a way you could see that a man could laugh at the extremes of the misery of it, stumbling through all this white sand like hot snow, the dried shit in our breeches, and knowing we were marching on on on on only to get cut to pieces with fucking axes and scimitars at the end of it....Once or twice we came to villages, but they were all empty or full of dead that the Bedouin had left to the flies and the ants, and the wells had been filled in with stones....and the only sound was the buzzing of those fucking great black flies....and the sun was like a great round arse shitting fire.
Burgess Anthony quotes
…surely that sneered-at suburban life was more stable than this shadow life…in a country where no involvement was possible…better than the sordid dalliance that soothed me after work?
Anthony Burgess
I lay a little while, naked, mottled, sallow, emaciated, smoking a cigarette that should have been postcoital but was not.
Anthony Burgess quotes
Lim Cheng Po, Anglican, Royalist, cricketer, respectable husband and father, allowed his animal reflexes out for an avenue walk on the lead.
Anthony Burgess
The disembarkation was a fucking shambles and we only took Alexandria as quick as we did to get a fucking drink somewhere, because we were near dead with the thirst....The town was full of a lot of half-starved blacks, near-blacks you could call them, in filthy rags, raising their hands to the bloody burning heavens when they saw us come in, shouting Allah Allah and so on. Some old bints with veils on gave us fucking filthy water to drink, but filthy or not it was like elation and ecstasy and so on. There was hardly a solitary fucking thing worth having in the whole town, all half-starved goats and so on, and talk about the fucking heat and the smell. Anyway, what they called sheiks came and gave him the keys, and the officers did all right with like knives and scimitars with jewels on, but then we had to move on to Damanhur and Rahmaniya and so on, near dropping with the fucking heat....
Burgess Anthony
...an unfeeling, massively egotistical bookworm.


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