Saturday, February 27, 2016

Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess (1917-1993) was a novelist, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. He is best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange, but altogether he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies, more than 150 other musical works, reams of journalism and much more. He was born in Manchester, England and grew up in Harpurhey and Moss Side, went to school in Rusholme, and studied at Manchester University. He lived in Malaya, Malta, Monaco, Italy and the US among other places, and is still widely read all over the world.

In addition to cooking up the Indo-European tongue of Quest for Fire and the nadsat slang of A Clockwork Orange, this wordy wordsmith peppered his books with near-forgotten slovos. For example ...

Said word pops up in his Malthusian SF novel, The Wanting Seed. To look it up, you used to have to crack open the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary or pay to use their website. It ain't in the collegiate dictionaries. But it is on Wiktionary.

There's a bloody essay out there somewhere chock full of Burgess' words. But I couldn't find it. Bathykolpian will have to do.

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