Anthony Burgess’s other invented languages Part 8: Macaronic Muggers and Nazi Newspeak

And so we approach the end of Burgess’s extensive writing career and his surprisingly prolific foray into invented languages in his literature. I promised at the outset that we’d end up with Nazi Newspeak, and we shall.

Anthony Burgess’s curious compendium novel, The End of the World News, did not emerge until 1982, though most of its contents had been created in some form during the late 1970s. A tripartite narrative, it features the story of the dying Sigmund Freud, alongside a musical version of Leon Trotsky’s visit to New York. All of this is hastily glued together via a frame narrative which leads out of a disaster movie scenario in which an asteroid is set to collide with Earth. If this sounds like three separate stories that don’t belong together, that’s because they don’t.

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Anthony Burgess’s other invented languages Part 6: Orwell and the Workers

In 1978, Burgess published what can best be described as a tribute to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, entitled 1985. This rather odd book is made up of a number of sections, including a dialogue between two aspects of Burgess himself. One section is fiction, an attempt by Burgess to update Orwell’s dystopian vision to the 1970s. In it, Britain is Tucland, a failing state dominated by heavyhanded union leaders and the infiltration of Arab money. It is, therefore, very much the vision of an expatriate who was not living and had not lived in Britain for quite some time, and was reliant upon newspaper reports for his perspective on the nation.

1985 - Anthony Burgess - 9781846689192 - Allen & Unwin - Australia

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