Best 223 of Anthony Burgess quotes - MyQuotes

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Anthony Burgess
By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

An eye for an eye, I say. If someone hits you you hit back, do you not? Why then should not the State, very severely hit by you brutal hooligans, not hit back also? But the new view is to say no. The new view is that we turn the bad into the good. All of which seems to me grossly unjust.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Keep away from physicians. It is all probing and guessing and pretending with them. They leave it to Nature to cure in her own time, but they take the credit. As well as very fat fees.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

A Haydn symphony had a meaning for the social group that listened to it. A Mahler symphony had a meaning for the man who composed it. Here is the difference between the classical and romantic attitudes to art.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

As for the new world war that's waiting in the womb of time, a healthily developed foetus, who can say what will spark it, how destructive it will be? We've already played at this war in film and fiction, indicating that there's a part of us that desperately wants it. What nonsense writers and filmmakers talk when they say that their terrible visions are meant as a warning. [...] It's sheer wish fulfillment. War... is a culture pattern. It's a legitimate mode of cultural transmission....

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Elgar is not manic enough to be Russian, not witty or pointilliste enough to be French, not harmonically simple enough to be Italian and not stodgy enough to be German. We arrive at his Englishry by pure elimination.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Our subject is, you see, impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Anthony Burgess

It may not be nice to be good, 6655321. It may be horrible to be good. And when I say that to you I realize how self-contradictory that sounds. I know I shall have many sleepless nights about this. What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

By Anonym 18 Sep

Anthony Burgess

People don't want to know. They have to be made to know. Whether they act on what they know is up to them. But they have to know.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

I don't write out of fear. I write out of a strong urge to meet death on its own eternal terms, because the fact is that if you write as little as a page of prose-even bad prose-that is eternal.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Life's only choosing when to die. Life's a big postponement because the choice is so difficult. It's a tremendous relief not to have to choose.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

But, brothers, this biting of their toe-nails over what is the CAUSE of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don't go into what is the cause of GOODNESS, so why of the other shop?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

As a chamber hung round about with looking-glasses represents the face upon every turn, thus all the world doth the mercy and the bounty of God; though that be visible, yet it discovers an invisible God and his invisible properties.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Anthony Burgess

To turn a decent young man into a piece of clockwork should not, surely, be seen as any triumph for any government, save one that boasts of its repressiveness.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my sword-pen.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Reviewers do not read books with much care . . . their profession is more given to stupidity and malice and literary ignorance even than the profession of novelist.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Only in England is the perversion of language regarded as a victory for democracy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

All art preserves mysteries which aesthetic philosophers tackle in vain.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Violence among young people is an aspect of their desire to create. They don't know how to use their energy creatively so they do the opposite and destroy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

What critics often ask for is the impossible, though this may be a salutary means of extending the borders of art.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come into all this? Am I like just some animal or dog? Am I just to be like a clockwork orange?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

That so many writers have been prepared to accept a kind of martyrdom is the best tribute that flesh can pay to the living spirit of man as expressed in his literature. One cannot doubt that the martyrdom will continue to be gladly embraced. To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

One goes on writing partly because it is the only available way of earning a living. It is a hard way and highly competitive. My heart drops into my bowels when I enter a bookshop and see how fierce the competition is...There is also a privier reason for pushing on, and that is the hopeless hope that someday that intractable enemy language will yield to the struggle to control it... Mastery never comes, and one serves a lifelong apprenticeship. The writer cannot retire from the battle; he dies fighting.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

I was very lighthearted. This often the way when the abandonment of personal responsibility is enforced: neither wronged innocence or just guilt can seriously impair the sensation of freedom one has.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self. And is not our modern history, my brothers, the story of the brave malenky selves fighting these big machines?" nah, that's too serious. How's about: “There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

The ideal reader of my novels is a lapsed Catholic and failed musician, short-sighted, colour-blind, auditorily biased, who has read the books that I have read.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

John Kenneth Galbraith and Marshall McLuhan are the two greatest modern Canadians that the U.S. has produced.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

...We're a government that believes in everybody having the illusion of free will.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

By definition, a human being is endowed with free will. He can use this to choose between good and evil. If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange - meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State. It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities. This is what the television news is all about. Unfortunately there is so much original sin in us all that we find evil rather attractive. To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Anthony Burgess

You've sinned, I suppose, but your punishment has been out of all proportion. They have turned you into something other than a human being. You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Literature ceases to be literature when it commits itself to moral uplift; it becomes moral philosophy or some such dull thing.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

There is, in fact, not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation, or an increase in wisdom, operating in your chief character or characters. Even trashy bestsellers show people changing. When a fictional work fails to show change, when it merely indicates that human character is set, stony, unregenerable, then you are out of field of the novel and into that of the fable or the allegory. - from the introduction of the 1986 Norton edition

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

The purpose of education is to fit us for life in a civilised community, and it seems to follow from the subjects we study that the two most important things in civilised life are Art and Science.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

The meal was pretentious - a kind of beetroot soup with greasy croutons; pork underdone with loud vulgar cabbage, potato croquettes, tinned peas in tiny jam-tart cases, watery gooseberry sauce; trifle made with a resinous wine, so jammy that all my teeth lit up at once.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

A man who serves language, however imperfectly, should always serve truth.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

You have no idea how pleasant it is not to have any future. It's like having a totally efficient contraceptive.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

In two thousand years all our generals and politicians may be forgotten, but Einstein and Madame Curie and Bernard Shaw and Stravinsky will keep the memory of our age alive.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Burgess

...youth is only being in a way like it might be an animal. No, it is not just like being an animal so much as being like one of these malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like little chellovecks made out of tin and with a spring inside and then a winding handle on the outside and you wind it up grrr grrr grrr and off it itties, like walking, O my brothers. But it itties in a straight line and bangs straight into things bang bang and it cannot help what it is doing. Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Feeling very surprised too at myself. I knew what was happening, O my brothers. I was like growing up.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

He said it was artificial respiration, but now I find I am to have his child.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

A work of fiction should be, for its author, a journey into the unknown, and the prose should convey the difficulties of the journey.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

And, my brothers, it was real satisfaction to me to waltz-left two three, right two three-and carve left cheeky and right cheeky, so that like two curtains of blood seemed to pour out at the same time, one on either side of his fat filthy oily snout in the winter starlight.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Anthony Burgess

The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d'esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

A man can write one book that can be great, but this doesn't make him a great writer-just the writer of a great book. . . I think a writer has to extend very widely, as well as plunge very deep, to be a great novelist.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Anthony Burgess

The old days are dead and gone days. For what I did in the past I have been punished. I have been cured.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

Come with uncle and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones...you are invited!

By Anonym 13 Sep

Anthony Burgess

I have heard earnest American sociologists say that American children have a right to the divorce experience as an enriching element of an advanced civilisation.