Updated: Monday, 3rd August 2020 @ 2:43pm

Exhibition marking 50th anniversary of A Clockwork Orange opens at John Rylands Library in Manchester

Exhibition marking 50th anniversary of A Clockwork Orange opens at John Rylands Library in Manchester

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

Literary classic A Clockwork Orange, by Manchester-born Anthony Burgess, is celebrating its 50th birthday – and an exhibition is now open at John Rylands Library to mark the occasion.

The temporary display examines the story, impact and legacy of the controversial novel, written by Burgess in 1962 and immortalised in film by Stanley Kubrick nine years later.

Rare editions, manuscripts, photographs and film props – including Herman Makkink’s iconic sculpture Rocking Machine - are amongst the material on display, some of which is previously unseen.

Rachel Beckett, Head of Special Collections and Associate Director of The John Rylands Library, said: “As an iconic cultural building in the centre of Manchester, we are delighted to be the host for this landmark exhibition which explores an iconic work of literature and its ongoing cultural impact.

“Anthony Burgess is regarded with great affection and respect by many people in his native Manchester, and around the world, and we hope our visitors will enjoy this unique opportunity to view material from the collections of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation alongside items from the Stanley Kubrick Archive, loaned by the University of the Arts, London, and artwork, loaned by the Arts Council.”

An underground hit upon its publication, A Clockwork Orange has since had a huge impact on theatre, fashion, visual art and music worldwide.

The novel is most notable for its shocking elements of violence and sexuality, dark humour, linguistic innovation and powerful themes.

The dominant subjects of the individual’s relationship to state and the terrifying potential of the young both remain as relevant as ever fifty years on.

Its author, Anthony Burgess, was born in north Manchester in 1917, growing up in Harpurhey and Moss Side.

Educated at Xaverian College and The University of Manchester, he wrote thirty-three novels, twenty-five works of non-fiction, two volumes of autobiography, three symphonies and more than 150 other musical works.

Burgess died of lung cancer in 1993. His books are still read worldwide.

The exhibition is now open, and will run until Sunday January 27 2013; 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12pm-5pm Sunday-Monday. Admission is free.

The display can be found at The Historic Reading Room, The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, M3 3EH. Tel: 0161 306 0555.

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