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99 Selected Quotes By Anthony Burgess, The Author Of A Clockwork Orange

Famous As: Writer
Born On: February 25, 1917
Died On: November 22, 1993
Born In: Harpurhey, Lancashire, England
Died At Age: 76

John Anthony Burgess Wilson, better known by his pen name Anthony Burgess, was an author and music composer from England, who is often counted among the greatest writers to have come out of the country in the last hundred years. Other than being a novelist, Burgess was a noted comic writer, broadcaster, essayist, critic, playwright and screenwriter that made him one of the famous individuals in England during his lifetime. Burgess’ most famous work is the novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’ that was later made into a hugely popular film by director Stanley Kubrick, in 1971. He was also a well-known translator and had translated ‘Oedipus the King’ and ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ among others. As a literary critic, he worked for ‘The Guardian’ and was regarded as an authoritative voice in the world of literature due to his standing as a leading novelist. Burgess, however, considered himself to be a music composer first and author second. During his life, he had composed in excess of 200 tunes and his work was quite well received at the time. Burgess is, however, immortalised because of his novels and remains an iconic figure to this day. Here are some of the selected quotes 

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Anthony Burgess
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.

Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.

Anthony Burgess
Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?

Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?

Anthony Burgess
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.

Anthony Burgess
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.

When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.

Anthony Burgess
The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.

Anthony Burgess
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.

Anthony Burgess
But what I do I do because I like to do.

But what I do I do because I like to do.

Anthony Burgess
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.

Anthony Burgess
Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.

Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.

Anthony Burgess
What's it going to be then, eh?

What's it going to be then, eh?

Anthony Burgess
It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.

Anthony Burgess
Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses to be bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Anthony Burgess
It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.

It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.

Anthony Burgess
If you expect the worst from a person you can never be disappointed.

If you expect the worst from a person you can never be disappointed.

Anthony Burgess
This must be a real horrorshow film if you're so keen on my viddying it.

This must be a real horrorshow film if you're so keen on my viddying it.

Anthony Burgess
Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieten Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles.

Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieten Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles.

Anthony Burgess
Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.

Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.

Anthony Burgess
The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.

Anthony Burgess
It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.

It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.

Anthony Burgess
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions, when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it.

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions, when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it.

Anthony Burgess
Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do I owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising visit?

Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do I owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising visit?

Anthony Burgess
I was always on my oddy knocky.

I was always on my oddy knocky.

Anthony Burgess
We're a government that believes in everybody having the illusion of free will.

We're a government that believes in everybody having the illusion of free will.

Anthony Burgess
But where I itty now, O my brothers, is all on my oddy knocky, where you cannot go. Tomorrow is all like sweet flowers and the turning vonny earth and the stars and the old Luna up there. ... And all that cal.

But where I itty now, O my brothers, is all on my oddy knocky, where you cannot go. Tomorrow is all like sweet flowers and the turning vonny earth and the stars and the old Luna up there. ... And all that cal.

Anthony Burgess
What I do I do because I like to do.

What I do I do because I like to do.

Anthony Burgess
Eat this sweetish segment or spit it out. You are free.

Eat this sweetish segment or spit it out. You are free.

Anthony Burgess
How wicked, my brothers, innocent milk must always seem to me now.

How wicked, my brothers, innocent milk must always seem to me now.

Anthony Burgess
I was cured all right.

I was cured all right.

Anthony Burgess
Senseless violence is a prerogative of youth, which has much energy but little talent for the constructive.

Senseless violence is a prerogative of youth, which has much energy but little talent for the constructive.

Anthony Burgess
You were not put on this Earth just to get in touch with god

You were not put on this Earth just to get in touch with god

Anthony Burgess
Colonialism. The enforced spread of the rule of reason. But who is going to spread it among the colonizers?

Colonialism. The enforced spread of the rule of reason. But who is going to spread it among the colonizers?

Anthony Burgess
The essential intention is the real sin. A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man.

The essential intention is the real sin. A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man.

Anthony Burgess
I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid.

I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid.

Anthony Burgess
To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create.

To devastate is easier and more spectacular than to create.

Anthony Burgess
Come with uncle and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones...you are invited!

Come with uncle and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones...you are invited!

Anthony Burgess
It's always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you're going

It's always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you're going

Anthony Burgess
Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.

Life is a wretched gray Saturday, but it has to be lived through.

Anthony Burgess
It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van.

It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Van.

Anthony Burgess
If you believe in an unseen Christ, you will believe in the unseen Christlike potential of others

If you believe in an unseen Christ, you will believe in the unseen Christlike potential of others

Anthony Burgess
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening.

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening.

Anthony Burgess
It'll be your own torture,

It'll be your own torture," he said, serious. "I hope to God it'll torture you to madness.

Anthony Burgess
And I thought to myself, Hell and blast you all, if all you bastards are on the side of Good then I'm glad I belong to the other shop.

And I thought to myself, Hell and blast you all, if all you bastards are on the side of Good then I'm glad I belong to the other shop.

Anthony Burgess
Life is, of course, terrible.

Life is, of course, terrible.

Anthony Burgess
And to all others in this story profound shooms of lip music brrrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries.

And to all others in this story profound shooms of lip music brrrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries.

Anthony Burgess
In a story you had to find a reason, but real life gets on very well without even Freudian motivations.

In a story you had to find a reason, but real life gets on very well without even Freudian motivations.

Anthony Burgess
But this one was a writer, not a reader.

But this one was a writer, not a reader.

Anthony Burgess
I am everyone's friend,'I said.'Except to my enemies.

I am everyone's friend,'I said.'Except to my enemies.

Anthony Burgess
Bedways is rightways now, so best we go homeways.

Bedways is rightways now, so best we go homeways.

Anthony Burgess
The not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.

The not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.

Anthony Burgess
Life's only choosing when to die. Life's a big postponement because the choice is so difficult. It's a tremendous relief not to have to choose.

Life's only choosing when to die. Life's a big postponement because the choice is so difficult. It's a tremendous relief not to have to choose.

Anthony Burgess
Alex like groweth up, Oh Yes.

Alex like groweth up, Oh Yes.

Anthony Burgess
When the State withers, humanity flowers.

When the State withers, humanity flowers.

Anthony Burgess
We were all feeling that bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some small energy expenditure.

We were all feeling that bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some small energy expenditure.

Anthony Burgess
Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines.

Being young is like being like one of these malenky machines.

Anthony Burgess
When we pray we admit defeat.

When we pray we admit defeat.

Anthony Burgess
Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence - the act of love, for instance; music, for instance.

Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence - the act of love, for instance; music, for instance.

Anthony Burgess
If I had died it would have been even better for you political bratchnies, would it not, pretending and treacherous droogs as you are.' But all that came out was er er er.

If I had died it would have been even better for you political bratchnies, would it not, pretending and treacherous droogs as you are.' But all that came out was er er er.

Anthony Burgess
We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.

Anthony Burgess
Is the man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Is the man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?

Anthony Burgess
English is a curiously expressive language. Womb, room, tomb. It sums up living in three words.

English is a curiously expressive language. Womb, room, tomb. It sums up living in three words.

Anthony Burgess
A work of fiction should be, for its author, a journey into the unknown, and the prose should convey the difficulties of the journey.

A work of fiction should be, for its author, a journey into the unknown, and the prose should convey the difficulties of the journey.

Anthony Burgess
You don't say, 'I've done it!' You come, with a kind of horrible desperation, to realize that this will do.

You don't say, 'I've done it!' You come, with a kind of horrible desperation, to realize that this will do.

Anthony Burgess
There is a satisfactory boniness about grammar which the flesh of sheer vocabulary requires before it can become a vertebrate and walk the earth.

There is a satisfactory boniness about grammar which the flesh of sheer vocabulary requires before it can become a vertebrate and walk the earth.

Anthony Burgess
But, brothers, this biting of their toe-nails over what is the CAUSE of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don't go into what is the cause of GOODNESS, so why of the other shop?

But, brothers, this biting of their toe-nails over what is the CAUSE of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don't go into what is the cause of GOODNESS, so why of the other shop?

Anthony Burgess
Then we slooshied.

Then we slooshied.

Anthony Burgess
What gives, O my little sister? Come thou and have a nice lay-down with your malenky droog in this bed.

What gives, O my little sister? Come thou and have a nice lay-down with your malenky droog in this bed.

Anthony Burgess
We only need to wear shoes because the British built roads which hurt our feet.

We only need to wear shoes because the British built roads which hurt our feet.

Anthony Burgess
Ser bueno puede llegar a ser algo horrible.

Ser bueno puede llegar a ser algo horrible.

Anthony Burgess
To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.

To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.

Anthony Burgess
Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God's. The sixth day is for football

Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God's. The sixth day is for football

Anthony Burgess
Then I wanted to sick up the gluey pie I'd had before the start of the evening, But I couldn't stand the sort of veshch, sicking all over the floor, so I held it back.

Then I wanted to sick up the gluey pie I'd had before the start of the evening, But I couldn't stand the sort of veshch, sicking all over the floor, so I held it back.

Anthony Burgess
Blessed tree and blessed birds, that were to be neither saved nor damned.

Blessed tree and blessed birds, that were to be neither saved nor damned.

Anthony Burgess
I can't accept that a work of fiction should be either immoral or moral. It should merely show the world as it is and have no moral bias.

I can't accept that a work of fiction should be either immoral or moral. It should merely show the world as it is and have no moral bias.

Anthony Burgess
And those hard slovos, brothers, were like the beginning of my freedom.

And those hard slovos, brothers, were like the beginning of my freedom.

Anthony Burgess
Life to most of us is just a jumble of sensations, like a very bad film with no plot, no real beginning and end.

Life to most of us is just a jumble of sensations, like a very bad film with no plot, no real beginning and end.

Anthony Burgess
The common people will let it go, oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why they must be prodded, prodded.

The common people will let it go, oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why they must be prodded, prodded.

Anthony Burgess
I was very lighthearted. This often the way when the abandonment of personal responsibility is enforced: neither wronged innocence or just guilt can seriously impair the sensation of freedom one has.

I was very lighthearted. This often the way when the abandonment of personal responsibility is enforced: neither wronged innocence or just guilt can seriously impair the sensation of freedom one has.

Anthony Burgess
People don't want to know. They have to be made to know. Whether they act on what they know is up to them. But they have to know.

People don't want to know. They have to be made to know. Whether they act on what they know is up to them. But they have to know.

Anthony Burgess
It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.

It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.

Anthony Burgess
There is only one kind of immorality in fiction, and that is when you write badly.

There is only one kind of immorality in fiction, and that is when you write badly.

Anthony Burgess
Translation is not a matter of words only; it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.

Translation is not a matter of words only; it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.

Anthony Burgess
Goodbye, goodbye, may Bog forgive you for a ruined life.

Goodbye, goodbye, may Bog forgive you for a ruined life." Then I got on to the sill, the music blasting away to my left, and I shut my glazzies and felt the cold wind on my listo, then I jumped.

Anthony Burgess
Well, if they would not go to school they must still have their education. And education they had had.

Well, if they would not go to school they must still have their education. And education they had had.

Anthony Burgess
In a dead white field an untethered goat gave them sardonic greeting.

In a dead white field an untethered goat gave them sardonic greeting.

Anthony Burgess
The scientific approach to life is not necessarily appropriate to states of visceral anguish.

The scientific approach to life is not necessarily appropriate to states of visceral anguish.

Anthony Burgess
zgr irade ile seilen ktlk, organize gler tarafından kişiye dayatılan deterministik iyilikten daha mı insancadır ?

zgr irade ile seilen ktlk, organize gler tarafından kişiye dayatılan deterministik iyilikten daha mı insancadır ?

Anthony Burgess
Suddenly, I viddied what I had to do, and that was to do myself in; to snuff it, to blast off forever out of this wicked, cruel world. One moment of pain perhaps and, then, sleep forever, and ever and ever.

Suddenly, I viddied what I had to do, and that was to do myself in; to snuff it, to blast off forever out of this wicked, cruel world. One moment of pain perhaps and, then, sleep forever, and ever and ever.

Anthony Burgess
You must take your chance boy. The choice has been all yours.

You must take your chance boy. The choice has been all yours.

Anthony Burgess
I wish people would think of me as a musician who writes novels, instead of a novelist who writes music on the side.

I wish people would think of me as a musician who writes novels, instead of a novelist who writes music on the side.

Anthony Burgess
Have you by chance brought some real British tea? Twining’s? Or from Jackson’s in Piccadilly?

Have you by chance brought some real British tea? Twining’s? Or from Jackson’s in Piccadilly?

Anthony Burgess
The old days are dead and gone days. For what I did in the past I have been punished. I have been cured.

The old days are dead and gone days. For what I did in the past I have been punished. I have been cured.

Anthony Burgess
That's the law, son. But you were never much of a one for following the law.

That's the law, son. But you were never much of a one for following the law.

Anthony Burgess
Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come into all this? Am I like just some animal or dog? Am I just to be like a clockwork orange?

Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come into all this? Am I like just some animal or dog? Am I just to be like a clockwork orange?

Anthony Burgess
Of course it was horrible,' smiled Dr. Branom. 'Violence is a very horrible thing. That's what you're learning now. Your body is learning it.

Of course it was horrible,' smiled Dr. Branom. 'Violence is a very horrible thing. That's what you're learning now. Your body is learning it.

Anthony Burgess
One can die but once. Dim died before he was born.

One can die but once. Dim died before he was born.

Anthony Burgess
Dreams go by opposites I was once told.

Dreams go by opposites I was once told.

Anthony Burgess
You'd lay there after you'd drunk the old moloko and then you got the messel that everything all around you was sort of in the past.

You'd lay there after you'd drunk the old moloko and then you got the messel that everything all around you was sort of in the past.

Anthony Burgess