Tuesday, 12 February 2008

On Justice versus Humanitarianism

From classfellow S.R., the following scholarly analysis and article recommendation for a fuller understanding of A Clockwork Orange. (Referenced article in hotlink & the title of this post.)

Throughout class discussion last night I was reminded of an essay I read years ago by C.S. Lewis. I found it in one of my books this afternoon, and thought you might be interested in reading it, if you have not already done so. It's titled "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment", and it was printedin 20th Century: an Australian Quarterly Review in 1949. I know Burgess wasa fan of Lewis, but I'm not sure how intimate their friendship was. My edition of Mere Christianity has a quotation from Burgess on the backcover, but I doubt Lewis ever read it. As I read the essay 'for the third time' I couldn't help but think that maybe this could have been a major source for some of the content in A Clockwork Orange. I don't know of any other author whose essays could inspire such a tightly argued case; and I think
Burgess had the skill to turn such a scholarly argument into brilliant fiction

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