RARA-AVIS: A Clockwork Orange - spoiler

From: BaxDeal@aol.com
Date: 02 Feb 2009

  • Next message: Brian Thornton: "Re: RARA-AVIS: A Clockwork Orange - spoiler"

    In a message dated 2/2/09 6:28:58 AM, IndieCrime@gmail.com writes:

    > In Regards to A Clockwork Orange, are you referring to the film or the
    > book?  In the book ending Alex decides to turn over a new leaf.

    in both the film and the original American version, the 21st chapter where Alex is an older, more mature man is omitted from the text. both end the same way

    the UK edition as well as the New American Edition released in 1986 contain the additional chapter, which of course changes everything. with the re-release in the U.S., Burgess said "Readers of the twenty-first chapter must decide for themselves whether it enhances the book they presumably know or is really a discardable limb. I meant the book to end in this way, but my aesthetic judgement may have been faulty. Writers are rarely their own best critics, nor are critics. 'Quod sripsi scripsi,' said Pontius Pilate when he made Jesus Christ the King of the Jews. 'What I have written, I have written.' We can destroy what we have written but we cannot unwrite it. I leave what I wrote with what Dr. Johnson called frigid indifference to the judgement of that
    .00000001 of the American population which cares about such things. Eat this sweetish segment or spit it out. You are free."

    however, the publisher of the New American Edition notes that "The author and his American publisher- who is delighted to give this fascinating book a new and larger life- differ in their memories as to wheter or not the dropping of the last chapter, which changed the book's impact dramatically, was a condition of publishing or merely a suggestion made for conceptual reasons."

    while I can appreciate the sentiment that the 21st chapter bestows upon the work, I personally prefer the darker, more ironic message of the the truncated version. but that's just because for me, noir is a philosophy. and the idea that given free will, man chooses evil sums up that philosophy perfectly

    John Lau

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