Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange,1962

Herman+Cornelius Makkink Herman Makkink. Rocking Machine

Chapter 6.

As I stepped back from the kick I must have like trod on the tail of one of these dratsing creeching pusspots, because I slooshied a gromky yauuuuuuuuw and found that like fur and teeth and claws had like fastened themselves round my leg, and there I was cursing away and trying to shake it off holding this silver malenky statue in one rooker and trying to climb over this old ptitsa on the floor to reach lovely Ludwig van in frowning like stone. And then I was into another saucer brimful of creamy moloko and near went flying again, the whole veshch really a very humorous one if you could imagine it sloochatting to some other veck and not to Your Humble Narrator. And then the starry ptitsa on the floor reached over all the drat sing yowling pusscats and grabbed at my noga, still going ‘Waaaaah’ at me, and, my balance being a bit gone, I went really crash this time, on to sploshing moloko and skriking koshkas, and the old forella started to fist me on the litso, both of us being on the floor, creeching: ‘Thrash him, beat him, pull out his finger—nails, the poisonous young beetle,’ addressing her pusscats only, and then, as if like obeying the starry old ptitsa, a couple of koshkas got on to me and started scratching like bezoomny. So then I got real bezoomny myself, brothers, and hit out at them, but this baboochka said: ‘Toad, don’t touch my kitties,’ and like scratched my litso. So then I screeched: ‘You filthy old soomka’, and upped with the little malenky like silver statue and cracked her a fine fair tolchock on the gulliver and that shut her up real horrorshow and lovely.

Anthony Burgess,1917-1993    A Clockwork Orange,1962

Images: A Clockwork Orange, 1971. Herman Makkink, Sculpture Machine. The large erotic paintings in Alex’s bedroom, and the Cat Lady’s living room are by Herman’s brother, Cornelius Mikkink.

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel by Burgess. The film directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971 was described by Burgess as, “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” and “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.”

Kubrick on A Clockwork Orange. An interview with Michel Ciment:

Source: http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/interview.aco.html

Alex has a close relationship with art (Beethoven) which the other characters do not have. The cat lady seems interested in modern art but, in fact, is indifferent. What is your own attitude towards modern art?

I think modern art’s almost total pre-occupation with subjectivism has led to anarchy and sterility in the arts. The notion that reality exists only in the artist’s mind, and that the thing which simpler souls had for so long believed to be reality is only an illusion, was initially an invigorating force, but it eventually led to a lot of highly original, very personal and extremely uninteresting work. In Cocteau’s film Orpheé, the poet asks what he should do. ‘Astonish me,’ he is told. Very little of modern art does that – certainly not in the sense that a great work of art can make you wonder how its creation was accomplished by a mere mortal. Be that as it may, films, unfortunately, don’t have this problem at all. From the start, they have played it as safe as possible, and no one can blame the generally dull state of the movies on too much originality and subjectivism.

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Author: jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space

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