Thursday, 25 February 2010

On this day...

John Burgess Wilson, published under pen name Anthony Burgess, was born in 1917. More than just a novelist, Burgess excelled in fields of poetry, drama, criticism, linguistics, translation, and even music, composing over 250 musical works. Only months after his first birthday, tragedy hit the Wilson household, as both young Anthony's mother and sister died within four days of each other. This, said Burgess, led him to being 'either distractedly persecuted or ignored' by a father who resented him for having survived.

Denied doing music at university, sue to poor physics grades, Burgess went on to graduate in English, yet was soon enrolled in the services. Here, Burgess' flair for languages was utilised by army intelligence, and indeed from that time, Burgess was frequently involved in a teaching capacity. Following posts in Malaysia and Borneo, Burgess published his work famous work, the dystopian novel, 'A Clockwork Orange', in 1962. Although not perhaps met with wild enthusiasm at the time of publication, the novel is now considered a modern classics, and was voted by 'Time Magazine' as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.

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