LITERATURE: A Clockwork Orange – Not Sublimity of Language and Concept?

Or perhaps it simply cannot be judged by Longinus or time:

The old veck began to make sort of chumbling shooms–"wuf waf wof" — so Georgie let go of holding his goobers apart and just let him have one in the toothless rot with his ringy fist, and that made the old veck start moaning a lot then, then out comes the blood, my brothers, real beautiful.  (p. 10)

Futuristic, violent.  Not war violence nor necessary in any form; just fun stuff.  But there may be redemption in presentation here.  The language is certainly new, a slang of the times, purely made up by the author, Anthony Burgess.  Easy enough to figure out when put into context, and as a matter of fact, I worry that literature’s influence on me may have taken me straight out of the formality of Poe into the nether world of Burgess, so a trip back to my favorites, McCarthy, Marquez, Faulkner and Steinbeck may be the eventual cure.

But doesn’t change sometimes represent elevation?  In conceptualizing a different world, can we not discover the sublime in either ideal or repulsion?  Repulsive is not what Longinus allows, but surely there’s place for it when as Aristotle claims, there cannot be the good without the bad, attraction and repulsion being the necessary opposites.

As for concept, in the middle of this scenario with the narrator and three malchicks (dudes) scouting out ptitsas (girls?) to…well, whatever; I don’t believe we’ve come to the eral word for fuck yet, and the vecks (old dudes) to roll, I find this thought, based on taking some sort of drugs:

You came back to here and now whimpering sort of, with your rot all squaring up for a boohoohoo.  Now, that’s very nice but very cowardly.  You were not put on this earth just to get in touch with God.  That sort of thing could sap all the strength and the goodness out of a chelloveck.  (p. 6)

There’s going to be a helluva lot to discover in Burgess’s world, and I wonder if Longinus can still be my guide.

This entry was posted in LITERATURE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.