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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
City archive to honour Burgess
by David Schaffer
BBC News Online, Manchester

Anthony Burgess
Burgess believed the people of Manchester were "very creative"
His notoriety as a writer was sealed when Stanley Kubrick's controversial film A Clockwork Orange was released in the 1970s.

More than 30 years later, after the long-banned movie was finally shown on TV, the film of Anthony Burgess's novel is probably still the one thing the writer is famed for.

Much less known is the fact Burgess - who died in November 1993 - was also a composer, journalist, linguist and literary critic, who was born in Manchester.

But the city now aims to change all that by becoming the global focal point of his life and work, with the official opening of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation at the weekend.

His widow, Liana Burgess, who has invested money and energy in the foundation over the last two years, was present at the opening on Friday.

It is very important that it is in Manchester. Anthony came back time and time again - he always thought it was a writer's city
Dr Alan Roughley, International Anthony Burgess Foundation
She said it was very important to her it should be set up in her late husband's home city.

"I think that because it is in the north of England, Manchester has not had the profile it deserves for the kind of work Anthony did," she told BBC News Online.

"Hopefully the opening of the foundation will go some way to redressing that."

She said however, there were other aspects of the city she and Burgess could have quite happily done without.

"The place looks very beautiful, but I do wish Manchester had more of a Mediterranean climate," she added.

'Writer's city'

Dr Alan Roughley, the foundation's executive director, said the opening indicates the popularity of Burgess is back on the rise.

"It has come after the fact A Clockwork Orange was featured on Channel 4 and BBC Radio Four are broadcasting an adaptation of his novel Earthly Powers," he said.

"But they do say that it takes about 10 years after a writer's death for their work to be reappraised and rediscovered."

The movie version of A Clockwork Orange
The film of A Clockwork Orange made Burgess a household name

The foundation has been set up to create an archive, which will be carried online, to help those who want to research Burgess, as well as providing a resource for academic scholars to tap in to.

It houses a collection of books from Burgess's own library, as well as manuscripts and scores he wrote and musical instruments he owned.

"And it is very important that it is in Manchester," continued Dr Roughley. "Anthony came back time and time again - he always thought it was a writer's city.

"He saw the Mancunians as very creative people. I think he thought that historically writers here had a truculence, which came from the element of rebellion in their character."

The foundation will not be fully open until August, although people can visit by appointment until then.

Orange to show on Channel 4
01 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
TV debut for A Clockwork Orange
04 Jul 01  |  Entertainment
Minister demanded Clockwork screening
14 Mar 00  |  Entertainment
Clockwork Orange returns uncut
06 Dec 99  |  Entertainment

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