A never-before-seen ‘sequel’ to A Clockwork Orange has been unearthed in the archives of its author, Anthony Burgess.
The Clockwork Condition is an unfinished 200-page manuscript, written by Burgess as a response to the moral panic surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s notorious 1971 cinema adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, which was accused of inspiring violent copycat crimes and banned by local councils in the UK.
Andrew Biswell, Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University and author of a biography of Burgess, has discovered the remarkable lost work.
Burgess’s non-fiction manuscript, never published, was found among papers abandoned in his house in Bracciano, near Rome, where he moved in the early 1970s. When the house was sold after Burgess’s death in 1993, the archive was transferred to the Burgess Foundation in Manchester, where it is now being catalogued.
Burgess described The Clockwork Condition as a “major philosophical statement on the contemporary human condition”. The book survives as a series of typewritten drafts, notes and outlines, in which Burgess develops ideas from his original novel, addresses the controversy surrounding Kubrick’s film, and puts forward new arguments about the possible dangers of technology and visual culture, especially film and television.
Correspondence discovered alongside the manuscript shows that the concept for The Clockwork Condition was agreed between Burgess and his collaborator, Thomas Collins, in January 1972, when the Manchester-born author was in New York on a promotional tour for the Clockwork Orange film.
The text of The Clockwork Condition was intended to be supplemented by surreal photographs and quotations from a variety of writers on the subject of freedom and the individual.