Friday, 12 June 2009

It's All In Your Head

Finished A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess yesterday.

Loved it loved it loved it. Such a different concept...and I really had to adjust my brain while reading it (Burgess's narrator, Alex, speaks mostly in a made-up dialect based on will have to read it to see what I mean).

Alex is a teenager (shockingly young) who get his kicks - literally - by behaving in a nihilistic, ultra-violent manner. He is eventually caught, and an experimental treatment is imposed upon him - perhaps equally as violent, but one designed to "cure" him of his violent ways.

However (SPOILER) me, Alex didn't need to be "cured" - he needed to be taught and cared for. His jailers and doctors think that Alex is uncaring, unfeeling - but this is untrue: Alex cares, but for violence and beauty and destruction.

To me, Burgess was making a savage comment on teenage society at the time, but also on the state, and how criminals were rehabilitated.

Burgess apparently was upset at the amount of attention that this book of his received, even though he had written many others. It was the extreme nature of this novel - and the classic depiction of an anti-hero in Alex - that made it such a draw to readers - and ultimately movie-goers. Must get this film!

Up next: Have already started The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) by Henri Alain-Fournier.

No comments:

Post a Comment