Friday, February 1, 2013

Thought Control the Goal? : Censured for irresponsibly expressing "ideas" that could hurt people

The day started badly. I looked at the newspaper and two headlines stared at me -
I was already depressed. I am reading A Clockwork Orange. The blurb on the back says -
"I do not know any other author who has done as much with language ...a very funny book' William S. Burroughs
I haven't searched for the original quote but that is obviously a statement out of context. I can't believe that Burroughs could have ever meant 'funny' - not even like Dr. Strangelove. Anyway, the book was ordered online and the blurb on the back had no influence on me except now to increase my irritation at marketeers.

I can't help but wonder if anyone in India would have allowed this book to be published. As per the introduction, Burgess had felt guilty that perhaps the book might have had an influence on the cult of violence. He shouldn't have as I doubt if even a single person indulging in mindless violence had ever read his book or even heard of him.

A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove are two unforgettable films by Stanley Kubrick. So, when my son saw A Clockwork Orange in the US recently, my interest in it was revived and I became curious about the chapter left out by Kubrick in the film. Now that I am retired, I can sit in the sun and read this phenomenal, though hard to read, book.

The book is even more relevant today as I avoid looking at the daily doze of news items about 'ultra-violence', which make me cringe.

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