escape bland neutrality
where we find ourselves
In a recent article, The Clockwork Condition: lost sequel to A Clockwork Orange discovered, Alison Flood writes:
Burgess writes in the manuscript of how the 1970s are a “clockwork inferno”, with humans no more than cogs in the machine, “no longer much like a natural growth, not humanly organic”. Humanity is “searching for an escape from the bland neutrality of the condition in which they find themselves”, he says, in a work that he envisaged as a philosophical piece of writing structured around Dante’s Inferno. Burgess had planned sections with titles including “Infernal Man”, trapped in a world of machines, and “Purgatorial Man”, trying to break out of the mechanical inferno.
He had hoped that surreal photographs and quotations from other writers on the topics of freedom and the individual would supplement his text, but as the project grew more ambitious, he found himself struggling to complete it as his popularity as an author grew.
“Eventually Burgess came to realise that the proposed non-fiction book was beyond his capabilities, as he was a novelist and not a philosopher. It was then suggested that he should publish a diary under the title The Year of the Clockwork Orange, but this project was also abandoned,” said Biswell.
“Instead he wrote a short autobiographical novel, that also features clockwork in the title – The Clockwork Testament. Published as an illustrated novel in 1974, the book engages with the same thematic material he had intended to use in The Clockwork Condition, such as good and evil, original sin, and the problems of modernity and violence.”
So many authors on the theme of escape, I have to ask, is life really that bad?
Is the grass always, ALWAYS greener on the other side of the hill?
On the search of self discovery, our heros always seem to find that that the road leads home.