Saturday 26 March 2016

Of Christ and Antichrist

Easter is tomorrow and I thought I would share an anecdote about it. I often identified Easter with Jesus of Nazareth, which script was written by Anthony Burgess, my favourite writer. He also wrote in parallel Man of Nazareth, his own and more personal take on the story of Jesus. But Burgess is of course most famous for writing the dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange, which was adapted into a famous (and sometimes infamous) dystopian movie about youth, violence and free will. The connection may surprise you, but both novels/movies do share similar themes and if you pay attention to the dialogues you can see both works have the same spirit. When I told of Burgess' involvement with the Biblical movie years ago to a fellow uni student, who really enjoyed A Clockwork Orange, book and movie, he could not believe it. "Anthony Burgess wrote the script of Jesus of Nazareth? But he's the Antichrist!"

It is not quite true, but that deserves to be a great unknown line. Burgess was not the Antichrist, or even an Antichrist, although he was a lapsed Catholic and had no issue in his writing delving in blasphemous thoughts. You can read more about it in this post and that one. In A Clockwork Orange raise moral and ethical issues which cannot be answered through the narrow views of any catechism or credo. You also have a main character, Alex who is not only an antihero of another type, pure and innocent, nevertheless he could be considered a sort of Antichrist, not so much because he opposes Christian teaching as he completely disregards them. In jail, he loves reading the Bible, not as a holy work inspiring religious devotion, but as a source of sadistic fantasies. As one can see in the scene below. It is a scene like this one, which was also in the novel, that prompted by fellow student to say that Anthony Burgess was the Antichrist. He was only partially right: Burgess' character was an Antichrist. Then he wrote a character that was Christ. You tell me which one was more believable.

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Such a good Christian boy. One of my favourite scenes! I hope you and your wife had a nice Easter, Guillaume.