A disturbing tale about good and evil and the meaning of human freedom, A Clockwork Orange has become a modern classic since its publication in 1962. Anthony Burgess's hero, the hedonistic and violent Alex, is our guide on a journey into a dystopian future where sociopathic youths rule the night and the authorities emulate their moral indifference in the pursuit of social order.
This Norton Critical Edition of A Clockwork Orange is based on the first British edition and includes the final chapter once omitted from the U.S. edition. It is accompanied by Mark Rawlinson's preface, explanatory annotations, and textual notes. A glossary of the Russian-origin terms that inspired Alex's vocabulary is provided to illustrate the process by which Burgess developed the novel's distinctive style.
"Backgrounds and Contexts" presents a wealth of materials chosen to enrich the reader's understanding of the historical roots of what has become an unforgettable work. Many are by Burgess himself, of including accounts of his motives for writing A Clockwork Orange; his exegesis of the novel's theological, political, and philosophical themes; and his provocative interventions in the debates over the British versus the American edition and over the cultural and social impacts of the film adaptation.
"Criticism" is divided into two sections, one addressing the novel and the other Stanley Kubrick's film version, which created a scandal and new audiences after 1972. Contemporary reviews of the novel are reprinted alongside a wide range of scholarly commentary, including, among others, David Lodge on the American reader; Andrew Biswell on composition and publication; Julie Carson on linguistic invention; Linovv Zinik on Burgess and the Russian language; Geoffrey Sharpless on education, masculinity, and violence; Shirley Chew on fictional form; Patrick Parrinder on dystopias; and Robbie B.H. Goh on language and social control. An analysis of the him adaptation is provided in reviews by Vincent Canby, Pauline Kael, and Christopher Ricks; in Philip Strick and Penelope Houston's interview with Kubrick; and in interpretive essays by Peter Hughes Jachimiak, Steven M. Cahn, Don Daniels, Alexander Walker, Philip French, Thomas Elsaesser, Tom Dewe Mathews, and Julian Petley. --Book Jacket.… (more)