{Prime} Little Wilson and Big God Author Anthony Burgess – Selindameditasyon.com

Little Wilson and Big God An extraordinary autobiography Prior to reading this, the only other book I d read by Anthony Burgess was A Clockwork Orange I was inspired to read this book, having come across a short extract, photocopied and framed on the wall of The Wheatsheaf pub in Rathbone Place, London Anthony Burgess was once a customer and he was describing the era in the 1940s when both he and Julian Maclaren Ross were regulars As a great admirer of Julian Maclaren Ross, it was a desire to read this particular s An extraordinary autobiography Prior to reading this, the only other book I d read by Anthony Burgess was A Clockwork Orange I was inspired to read this book, having come across a short extract, photocopied and framed on the wall of The Wheatsheaf pub in Rathbone Place, London Anthony Burgess was once a customer and he was describing the era in the 1940s when both he and Julian Maclaren Ross were regulars As a great admirer of Julian Maclaren Ross, it was a desire to read this particular section probably only six or seven pages in total that prompted me to read it I should add that Burgess was gratifyingly complimentary about the work of Maclaren Ross and brings that era beautifully to life Little Wilson and Big God is only the first part of a two part biography and covers the 42 years from Burgess s birth, in 1917, to 1959, when his time as teacher and education officer in Malaya and Brunei came to an end and he decided to devote himself to writing full time believing he only had a year to live.Burgess was clearly very bright and something of a polymath He taught himself languages and wrote classical music in addition to gaining scholarships and doing well at school Despite this he was also something of a slacker as a young man, drifting through the war, and then into teaching in Malaya and Brunei He and his wife had an open relationship from the off, and he appears to be very honest about his conduct which was frequently drunken and idiosyncratic He has a trove of great memories.I found the whole book engrossing as he vividly recreated the Manchester of his boyhood life in the army during the war with all its attendant pettiness and absurdities and his various eccentricities, and onto everoutrageous behaviour as an observant if unorthodox expat during the fag end of British colonialism.His writing style is flamboyant and sophisticated, and required a few stops to consult the dictionary, and I felt I was in the hands of a great writer at the top of his game I eagerly anticipate the second part You ve Had Your Time I have also bought The Complete Enderby too This feels like the start of a beautiful relationship.5 5 1988 notebook just finished LW BG, Burgess s half life story fascinated by his wife Lynne and would have likedon her His life seems a little too easy despite the experiences in Gibraltar and Malaya Here is a man who can write a novel in six weeks, can pick up languages in days, and compose symphonies in his spare time, most of which he devotes to getting drunk and getting laid, in that order.Just jealous I suppose 1988 notebook just finished LWBG, Burgess s half life story fascinated by his wife Lynne and would have likedon her His life seems a little too easy despite the experiences in Gibraltar and Malaya Here is a man who can write a novel in six weeks, can pick up languages in days, and compose symphonies in his spare time, most of which he devotes to getting drunk and getting laid, in that order.Just jealous I suppose Burgess is very much out of fashion these days, on the logical grounds that he was something of a serenely and mildly racist, sexist, homophobic imperialist of the cheerful and well meaning variety He comes across muchstubbornly Catholic and conservative than his prodigious philandering would lead you to believe, and has a few casually deplorable things to say about women and brown people Despite his obvious mental gifts, he is frequently forced to fall back on pleas of laziness or perse Burgess is very much out of fashion these days, on the logical grounds that he was something of a serenely and mildly racist, sexist, homophobic imperialist of the cheerful and well meaning variety He comes across muchstubbornly Catholic and conservative than his prodigious philandering would lead you to believe, and has a few casually deplorable things to say about women and brown people Despite his obvious mental gifts, he is frequently forced to fall back on pleas of laziness or persecution to excuse various failures, both academic or professional I enjoy his work, because I like to learn, and I like an author who can present an etymological history of the vast array of Malay words for copulation in one paragraph, then a joke about Kandinsky in the next I own the second volume of his autobiography, but I admit that upon finishing this one, I feel no urgence to begin reading it It is no surprise that Burgess s autobiography contains a lengthy index I suspect I will consult this if I want a few pages of targeted wit and erudition, and will perhaps dip into it from time to time for the pleasure of watching him perform, but as a sustained act, he rather overstays his welcome Little Wilson Big God is a marvellous book marvels are not to be trusted, of course The fact that Burgess may or may not be blagging much of the time is part of the book s appeal a great writer of fiction is turning his tools on the raw material of his own life and fashioning it into a kind of magic lantern show In his works of fiction, Burgess s invention occasionally waned when talking about himself he is never at a loss The language is evocative, exuberant and delights in obscure Little Wilson Big God is a marvellous book marvels are not to be trusted, of course The fact that Burgess may or may not be blagging much of the time is part of the book s appeal a great writer of fiction is turning his tools on the raw material of his own life and fashioning it into a kind of magic lantern show In his works of fiction, Burgess s invention occasionally waned when talking about himself he is never at a loss The language is evocative, exuberant and delights in obscure words and precise details The sense of time and place is wonderful This is the best kind of autobiography shameless, self serving and joyous, leaving the dirty work for biographers to come Recommended by Mary Carr in The art of memoir Streckenweise ein wenig erm dend, aber doch faszinierend, die Tragik des Menschen, der so gern Komponist gewesen w re, Joyce Verehrer und Katholik oder jedenfalls allezeit vom Katholizismus begleitet A.B betr gt seine Frau Lynne und umgekehrt, sie bleiben sich aber in Liebe zugetan Aber die Beschreibungen sind etwas zu casual f r mich. Burgess wrote two volumes of memoirs this book covers his first forty two years Though nearly twice the size of the second book, You ve Had Your Time, it s half as interesting It gives a rather different account of a young English writer s maturity than most books of its type Burgess was born in Manchester, not in the Home Counties he did not go to one of great universities He was reared among pubs, chop shops and off licences, and called mard arse at school He didn t seem to let up o Burgess wrote two volumes of memoirs this book covers his first forty two years Though nearly twice the size of the second book, You ve Had Your Time, it s half as interesting It gives a rather different account of a young English writer s maturity than most books of its type Burgess was born in Manchester, not in the Home Counties he did not go to one of great universities He was reared among pubs, chop shops and off licences, and called mard arse at school He didn t seem to let up once entering the army When a superior demanded that Burgess call him Sir , he replied that he only called the Monarch and the Almighty Sir , and he was neither.Although the book is largely a catalogue of disasters, it has no self pity Burgess s productive restlessness outlaws that It seems there was much to pity right from the start Burgess Father returned from World War One to find both his wife and daughter dead from the flu epidemic, and baby Burgess gurgling in his cot It caused him, Burgess suggests, to resent his son for the audacity of survival.A warning Some have described the memoirs as the greatest novels of Burgess career, and you don t need a biography to see why Burgess had a store of tales about his life, a script to follow, and either came to prefer both to reality or forgot the difference The lumpy, pompous style irritates, dropping words like stertorous as if from a punctured dictionary Get the second volume instead The first task was to quieten them, and not through the regular military technique of demanding quiet, which did not work The thing to do was to grab some docker arbitrarily from the front row and talk to him with whispering earnestness, thus inducing the listening silence of the curious WIth this gained, I would cry Gentlemen That provoked large howls of derision I would follow with Those of you who can read may have seen the word over public urinals I use the word with that meaning The first task was to quieten them, and not through the regular military technique of demanding quiet, which did not work The thing to do was to grab some docker arbitrarily from the front row and talk to him with whispering earnestness, thus inducing the listening silence of the curious WIth this gained, I would cry Gentlemen That provoked large howls of derision I would follow with Those of you who can read may have seen the word over public urinals I use the word with that meaning While they were thinking that over I would try to introduce the prescribed topic The description of an education session he delivered to conscripted dock workers during WWII Anthony Burgess tells the story of his life from his birth in 1917 until the day in 1959 when he was diagnosed incorrectly with an inoperable brain tumour and decided to devote the time remaining to him to writing novels to support his soon t0 be widow It s a candid and vituperative account of growing up alienated in Britain a Catholic, a northerner and lower middle class It s also a good account of the transformation of society that took place in the first half of the 20th century Burgess is clever, in love with words, funny and he tends to deal with received opinions the way a terrier does rats The first volume of the two volume autobiographyIn an extraordinarily candid book of confessions, Anthony Burgess tells the story of a disaffected Manchester Catholic from his birth inup toand the commencement of his career as a professional writer He details his burgeoning awareness of his artistic talent, his relationship with his first wife, his army career and his years as an education officer in Malaya and Borneo From the Trade Paperback edition Great for linguists and musicians as Burgess goes into the minutiae of both subjects Also great if you don t mind the reminiscences of an aged man reviewing his sexual history escapades Having said this, I enjoyed much of the book The struggle with lapsed Catholicism, the pictures painted of prewar Manchester and life for colonials in Malaya as well as the literary circles of London were spellbinding I have not read any of Burgesses novels, and I don t think that I want to I didn t know wha Great for linguists and musicians as Burgess goes into the minutiae of both subjects Also great if you don t mind the reminiscences of an aged man reviewing his sexual history escapades Having said this, I enjoyed much of the book The struggle with lapsed Catholicism, the pictures painted of prewar Manchester and life for colonials in Malaya as well as the literary circles of London were spellbinding I have not read any of Burgesses novels, and I don t think that I want to I didn t know what a prolific composer he was Again, I don t think I ll seek out his musical compositions But, as a non biography reader, I would recommend this book to people I like Keep a dictionary beside you when reading this book although Burgess admits to creating neologisms, so don t be surprised if you can t find the work you re looking for

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