Obscenity and Arts .
Anthony Burgess is known for his cult novel A Clock Work Orange, which delved into topics about ultra violence and the freedom of choice. Burgess’s works consistently challenged the construct in which society has built. This year his controversial lecture about pornography and sexuality will be published by Pariah Press. The book Obscenity and Arts will feature the eyeopening essay.
The essay comes from when Burgess was living in Malta and was invited by the Malta Library Association to give a lecture to an audience which included the members of the Catholic clergy and government officials. His lecture argued that sexually explicit books should not be banned. Burgess reasoned that instead of judging pornography morally it should be judged by its literary merit and gave examples by citing the Old Testament and John Milton’s Areopagitica – a text that opposes licensing and strict censorship.
The nature of the lecture offended the Maltese authorities to the point of confiscating Burgess’s house. His house was only returned to him when the Guardian published his story on the front page. However, this experience deeply affected the Burgess and refused to return to Malta, this topic was even a featured subject in his novels M/F and Earthly Powers.
Obscenty and Arts will be published by Pariah Press along with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. The essay will be paired with unseen photographs and works from Burgess about his life on the island of Malta. In addition to Burgess, a counter- argument by feminist Germaine Greer will also be in the book. Obscenity and Arts will be realized in the winter of 2017 and will mark a century of Burgess’s death.