a clockwork orange by anthony burgess

I vowed not to post here until I finish Leslie’s write-up (sorry Les working on it; I will pay the fines!). But I cannot help it. I must write down my thoughts now (before my memory fails me) on A Clockwork Orange, novel by Anthony Burgess, popularly used as pop-culture reference due to its sheer epicness.

(Rant) I was mid-way that particular magnificent piece of literature yesterday, when Stairway Wit haunted me. I remembered my shallow status post in Facebook broadcasting how I found a Nadsat dictionary online, so I can decipher the Slavic words interspersed in the book’s Nadsatic conversation. I focused too much on finding a reading aid, tippest of the icebergest …when ACO’s greatness roots from its concept. Gog. On to the discourse…

ACO is famous for being a difficult read (like Trainspotting). I am a proud graduate. And like all other alumni, I agree that the language barrier was daunting at first, but after finishing 3-5 chapters, reading was a breeze. May learning curve lang.
Burgess’s dystopia revealed that each of its demographic had a different dialect–very Babel. This is the source of conflict mismo–misunderstanding. And this is depicted by form with a language you have to learn on the spot. So form plays an important role after all in helping the reader understand the concept in a more involved manner. Subliminally though. Haha.

On another note, the Ludovico technique was brilliant. Simple psychology as panacea to a dystopic society. I just shudder at the thought of the Government “curing” the violent behavior superficially through classical conditioning. Why don’t they find out why the Nadsats are behaving this way, then attack the source.
ACO also raised ethical questions about freewill. (But I’m too lazy to think about it now hehehe)

Let’s see after a week…

I think the film addaptation by Stanly Kubrick was instrumental in transforming it into a pop culture consumable. Kubrick has this way of making something reference and spoof-worthy. Some of which are: Alex’s long right eyelashes, Singing in the Rain break-in scene, William Tell Overture fast-forwarded sex scene; the sinny chair contraption. Concept, kudos to Burgess. Execution kudos to Kubrick. Ang galing niyo!

It was a great pleasure reading ACO. Thank you, Anthony Burgess.


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