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Anthony Burgess at 100: unearthly powers

His critics accused him of being a mere entertainer with highbrow airs. But Anthony Burgess was one of the most astonishing writers of the 20th century

By Kevin Jackson   March 2017

Dance of the intellect: Anthony Burgess ©Michel Setboun/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

It is 100 years since the birth of the man who, at his confirmation into the Catholic Church, took the name Anthony, patron saint of lost causes, to become John Anthony Burgess Wilson. Forty years later, the Manchester-born writer began to be known under the name “Anthony Burgess”—created, as he said, by pulling the cracker of his full name at both ends. In the 1970s, he became world famous thanks to the notoriety of Stanley Kubrick’s slick and…

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