Monday, July 4

A Clockwork Orange

It's been said that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well, our dump has this incredibly popular re-use centre. Locals can donate unwanted items that haven't quite reached throw-away condition.

An entire section of the centre is devoted to books. Not surprising really. Have you ever seen anyone throw out a book. Even a poorly written one. People just don't finish a book, close it up and say..."Man, that sucked," and toss it in the trash. It just doesn't happen. And so I discovered A Clockwork Orange.

I was skimming through the titles trying to find a book that I thought I might like when I came across A Clockwork Orange. In high school, I wrote an essay on censorship and I remember the title from my assignment. In fact, when I come across a book that was (at least at one time) censored, I usually try and snap it up. Just in case. Besides, I L-O-V-E to read. Love, Love, Love.

Imagine my surprise then, when I opened the book to read the author's introduction titled, "A Clockwork Orange Resucked." The author basically dedicates 7 pages to denouncing the public for their fascination with the story when "other works of mine that I value more bite the dust." In the end, as with so many other literary works, the film version rocketed the story to the cult-following that it continues to enjoy. Thanks Stanley Kubrick.

Part one identifies the main character as the storyteller and then he says..."Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood while we counted the takings and divided by four, nor to do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry grey-haired ptitsa in a shop and go smecking off with the till's guts."


I'm sorry. What did you say?

I made it a point to find out exactly what I was up against so I did a little homework and found out that the novel is set in 1962 England. To add a little atmosphere, the author created his own language called Nadsat which is a combination of Cockney, Polary and Russian slang.


I trudged through it. I found the meaning behind the title and then suffered through the "rehabilitation" of the leading character. It was like taking just do it because you absolutely have to. Unfortunately it became my literary equivalent to daily doses of Buckley's.

I cannot even fabricate a level of sophistication where I pretend to understand or appreciate the book. I am, in fact, so annoyed that I lost hours of precious time reading it, that I hope never to encounter a poor pretentious ass who takes it upon him/herself to exalt the groundbreaking qualities of this novel to me. Note to self: Common etiquette says not to talk about politics, sex, religion or money, or A Clockwork Orange.

So friends, this will serve as a warning to you to spare yourself the grief of labouring through this book. For those of you who want to decide for yourself whether or not it is worth the pain, I will be returning my copy to the reuse centre this weekend. Judge for yourself.

No comments: