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Still from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’

The lost sequel to A Clockwork Orange has been found

It has been discovered as a batch of abandoned and unfinished typewritten notes in author Anthony Burgess’s archive

Oh bliss, bliss and heaven! A lost sequel to A Clockwork Orange has been unearthed from the archives of its author Anthony Burgess. The unfinished 200-page manuscript A Clockwork Condition survives as a series of typewritten drafts, notes and outlines, thought to be written in response to the moral panic surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film adaptation which was blamed for a series of copycat crimes following its release.

Before his death in 1993, Burgess himself described The Clockwork Condition as a “major philosophical statement on the contemporary human condition”. It develops themes explored in the original book, namely the dangers of technology and visual culture, with a particular focus on film and TV.

Professor Andrew Biswell, Burgess expert and Director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, found the abandoned manuscript in the author’s house in Bracciano, a small town on the outskirts of Rome. He says of the find: “This is a very exciting discovery. Burgess’s only public reference to The Clockwork Condition was in a 1975 interview where he suggested that it had not developed beyond the idea stage”. 

He adds: “Part philosophical reflection and part autobiography, The Clockwork Condition provides a context for Burgess’s most famous work, and amplifies his views on crime, punishment and the possible corrupting effects of visual culture.”

The book, structured around Dante’s Inferno, was originally intended to be released alongside surreal photographs and quotations from contemporary writers and could yet see the light of day. According to Professor Biswell: “In theory, it would be possible to create a publishable version of The Clockwork Condition. There is enough material present in the drafts and outlines to give a reasonably clear impression of what this lost Burgess book might have been.”

Keep your eyes mechanically peeled back for a possible release.