Anthony Burgess Essay

907 WordsFeb 5, 20134 Pages
John Anthony Burgess Wilson Burgess was born John Burgess Wilson on 25 February 1917 at 91 Carisbrook Street in Harpurhey, a suburb of Manchester, to a Catholic father and a Catholic convert mother.He self-described his background as lower middle class; growing up during the Great Depression Mother and sister died. Burgess believed that he was resented by his father, Joseph Wilson, for having survived. After the death of his mother, Burgess was raised by his maternal aunt, Ann Bromley, in Crumpsall with her two daughters. Burgess has said of his largely solitary childhood: "I was either distractedly persecuted or ignored. I was one despised ... Ragged boys in gangs would pounce on the well-dressed like myself." He later reflected: "When I went to school I was able to read. At the Manchester elementary school I attended, most of the children could not read, so I was ... a little apart, rather different from the rest." As a young child he did not care about music, until he heard on his home-built radio "a quite incredible flute solo," which he characterized as "sinuous, exotic, erotic," and became spellbound. Eight minutes later the announcer told him he had been listening to Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy. He referred to this as a "psychedelic moment ... a recognition of verbally inexpressible spiritual realities." When Burgess announced to his family that he wanted to be a composer, they objected as "there was no money in it." Music was not taught at his school, but at about age 14 he taught himself to play the piano. His dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange was published in 1962. It was inspired initially by an incident during the Second World War in which his wife Lynne was robbed, assaulted and violated by deserters from the U.S. Army in London during the blackout. The event may have contributed to her subsequent miscarriage. The book was

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