Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Burgess, Anthony

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Working name of UK writer and composer John Anthony Burgess Wilson (1917-1993), whose most famous single work, A Clockwork Orange (1962; cut 1963 US), is sf. Though much of his fiction is exuberantly experimental, displaying a tropical intensity of language which generates a magic-realist sense of transfigured scapes (see Magic Realism), AB wrote relatively little outright fantasy. In The Eve of Saint Venus (1964) a Ring brings the Goddess to life; Beard's Roman Women (1976 US) is a Ghost Story as well as a lament for lost Love; A Long Trip to Teatime (19776) is a surreal Fairytale for older children; Any Old Iron (1989), whose title describes Excalibur, posits its survival into the 20th century, with satirical consequences; and Enderby's Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby (1985) is a fantasy reflecting the life of Shakespeare. Some of the stories assembled in The Devil's Mode (coll 1989) are fantasy. Of all these titles, Beard's Roman Women is the most successful; the others tend to unease, perhaps generated by AB's overall distaste for genre literatures. [JC]

John Anthony Burgess Wilson


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.