Saturday, 16 February 2008


Lots of links on the England parts of the internets to Stanley Unwin's work: he being one of Burgess' inspirations for the language in Clockwork Orange. Unwin seems plain odd to North Americans, but his invented inverted speech hits something deep in the brain stem of the body England. Monty Python were obvious devotees; and John Lennon virtually wrote his Spaniard in the Works in Uniwinese.

Here is Mr. Unwin in a television advertisement for a word processor.
Gratuitous literary progenitor mention: James Joyce.
Nb: What I imagine attracted Burgess to Unwin was the fact that his language games are not nonsense. Take "eyebold," for instance, from the advert: in relation to "eyeballed" it is a reasonable jocose intensifier, and, in context, "eyebald" and "eyebowled" (a cricketing pun) are effective possibilities. It is for certain no less inventive or reasonable than much in Joyce (albeit less sustained.)

No comments: