Anthony Burgess

7 Better-Than-Beach-Reads About Famous Writers

Though a great many literary novels have novelists as protagonists — e.g. Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman, or Chabon’s Grady Tripp, and that’s just for starters — much fewer explicitly take their inspiration from real-life writers. Or at least, they didn’t until recently, partly because of a certain stigma that has always attached to biography and biographers, the idea that they are people who sort through other people’s garbage in search of a crucial piece of mail. This is gossip, a lot of novelists complain, not literature. … Read More

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The Books Flavorwire Staffers Read Too Early

Earlier this week, writer Matthue Roth published My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a collection of Kafka stories re-told for children. This is a brilliant idea, since anyone exposed to Kafka at a young age is likely to grow up stranger and better — even if it’s only a form of Kafka. Here at the Flavorwire office, the book sparked a few conversations about age-appropriate reading, and more than one story about a great book read too early. Some of us still have the scars. After the jump, check out the literary regrets of a selection of staffers who read the classics much too early, and then let us know which non-age-appropriate read still haunts you in the comments. … Read More

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Clever Posters Chart the Colors in Famous Novels

What colors are the insides of your favorite novels? Well, sure, the off-white of a book page — but what about the worlds they create? In artist Jaz Parkinson‘s color charts project, he has created graphic signatures of novels’ visual content, building mini rainbows that correspond to classic works. Needless to say, there’s a lot of red (blood) and white (milk) in A Clockwork Orange, and miles of black in McCarthy’s The Road. … Read More

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10 Great Literary Late Bloomers

The literary world is forever in awe of the young writers, the wunderkinds, the 20 under 40, the 5 under 35, the 30 under 30. But many authors published their first major work later in life.… Read More

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The Wildest Teenagers in Literature

In Wild Girls, Mary Stewart Atwell’s new debut novel, the young ladies of Swan River are changing. The “wild girls,” teenagers suddenly imbued with supernatural powers that give them both the ability and the will to murder, menace the town while Kate Riordan tries to hang on to both her life and her sanity. Inspired by this impressive debut, we’ve put together a list of what we consider to be some of the wildest teenagers in literature — from gang members to errant soldiers to kids making the best of a bad situation by going feral. See our choices after the jump, and if we missed your favorite literary teen on a rampage, be sure to add to our list in the comments. … Read More

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A Literary Insult For Every Occasion

Famous authors have been known to go around insulting each other, but their characters aren’t saints either (or maybe they are, if you ask a certain Ellsworth Toohey). Of course, Shakespeare is famous for the insults in his plays, but he’s not the only one putting some very rude remarks into his characters’ mouths — our favorite literature is full of witty jibes, bold attacks, and sly rejoinders. Click through to see some of the best put-downs in the wide realm of literature — and how we suggest you utilize… Read More

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Shoey Nam’s Multi-Faceted Portraits of Famous Writers

In Shoey Nam’s Loved and Labored series, which we recently spotted over at Juxtapoz, the London-based illustrator depicts some of his famous writers in lovely delicate line drawings. Even more interesting is the fact that each portrait is at least two — and sometimes three — portraits in one, depicting the subject at various stages of their writing life or even just in opposing moods, often with one version of the writer peering over the shoulder of the other, reminding him of his presence. Nam writes, “I chose to illustrate a set of literature figures, as writers have the tendency to carry a certain haggardness and cynicism of the world on their faces, which are often reflected in their words…. I tried to focus on depicting the figures’ mannerisms, such as the look on the face when concentrated, the way one smokes, holds objects, as well as the lines/traces/marks formed on faces that suggest their habitual face expressions.” Click through to check out Nam’s portraits of famous writers, and then be sure head over to his website to check out a similar series of musicians, plus even more of his work. … Read More

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Comparing Book Covers with the Posters of Their Film Adaptations

Earlier this week, we spotted the first poster for the upcoming (and much anticipated, at least by us) film adaptation of David Mitchell’s stupendous novel Cloud Atlas, and it seemed very familiar — sort of like a combination of the book’s US and UK covers, all glossed over in sepia. Curious, we spent a little time comparing other book covers with the posters of their film adaptations to see which movies maintained the mood of the book’s original cover, which twisted it around completely, and which became more iconic than the original covers. Click through to read through our findings, and let us know if you have any insights of your own on this topic in the comments. … Read More

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Anthony Burgess Explains the Meaning of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ in This Week’s ‘New Yorker’

We recently took issue with the sizable, baffling group of A Clockwork Orange cultists who seem to think the novel’s “ultraviolent” protagonist, Alex, is the height of cool. To idolize this character is to seriously misunderstand the story Anthony Burgess is telling — but what did the author actually want readers to get out of… Read More

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