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This article is taken from PN Review 242, Volume 44 Number 6, July - August 2018.

Two Previously Unpublished Essays
‘Why I Write’ and ‘Getting the Language Right’
Two Previously Uncollected Essays
Anthony Burgess
WILL CARR, editor of The Ink Trade: Selected Journalism 1961–1993, writes:

The Ink Trade is a new selection of Anthony Burgess’s literary journalism, gathering reviews and essays from the very beginnings of his writing career to the end of his life. Hugely prolific, Burgess wrote thousands of articles for dozens of periodicals, all around the world – alongside the sixty books, plays, classical music, poetry, film scripts and everything else – and his journalistic writing is an important part of his oeuvre that has been obscured in recent times.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working on Anthony Burgess’s writing has been finding new things. Even though Burgess died twenty-five years ago, the collections at the Burgess Foundation in Manchester, the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, the Institut Mémoires de l’Édition Contemporaine in Caen, Normandy, and elsewhere continue to give up articles, plays, film scripts and musical works that have been overlooked or somehow lost. The Ink Trade contains pieces never before collected, with some never published in English and some never published at all.

The model for the selection is Urgent Copy, a collection of literary essays published in 1968, which has a focus squarely on substantial studies of Burgess’s contemporaries and predecessors. In his introduction to Urgent Copy, Burgess is mildly and unconvincingly apologetic that these commissioned and apparently relatively insubstantial pieces have been captured in book form, and expresses an anxiety that he has been rather too kind to some of the writers ...


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