The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

But Did You Read the Book? #6

A Clockwork Orange
(Anthony Burgess; 1962)


swac said...

Was this a Penguin edition in the U.S.? The American edition famously dropped the final chapter (I have an old U.S. hardcover), which was in the UK version, presumably including the Penguin, and didn't see the light of day in North American until it was reprinted in Rolling Stone, and was added back to subsequent editions post-1986.

It was the U.S. version that the film's screenplay is based on, but Kubrick later claimed he felt the final chapter, where Alex decides to renounce his violent past and turn his life around, didn't work anyway (which might also explain Anthony Burgess's disdain for the film in general).

Tom Block said...

I still have the copy I bought at Blackwell's in '76. It's the UK Penguin, from back when UK Penguins had the coolest covers in the world, e.g.:

swac said...

I have a '70s copy of Nineteen Eighty Four from that same line of Penguins (and I also have the paperback of Clockwork Orange shown above). They did look pretty boss (especially compared to the generic Penguin covers of yore).

WillyC said...

I believe it is a 1974 UK paperback cover.


All the way to 1965, 1st edition pb ... great cover!