NAMES IN THE NEWS : Novelist Feels Encroaching Age

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Novelist Anthony Burgess is still writing prolifically at the age of 73, spurred on by a sense of urgency in the face of approaching old age.

However, while officially a resident of Monaco, he said he finds it more and more difficult to write there.

“I need to be in a place where there is nothing to do but write. My time is short,” he said.

“Here I often get visits from people I don’t really want--young students with knapsacks on their backs, saying some professor assured them I’d give them a bed. It’s not true.”


This means spending more time at his other home in the Ticino region of Switzerland.

The author of “A Clockwork Orange,” which 3O years ago depicted a group of youths who raised organized violence to a cult level, Burgess is tired of always being identified with the controversial novel, later made into a film by Stanley Kubrick.

“It rankles me damnably,” he said. “I’m sick to death of it.”

A firm advocate of a united Europe, Burgess believes Latin should be its common language.


“I would like to see a resuscitation of a simpler form of Latin, an element of which is present in some of the major European languages.

“So I need to write every day. It’s like physical exercise,” he explained. “If you get out of the habit, you forget how to do it. But when it becomes easy, you’re in danger, because you start writing in cliches.”

He is now halfway through a book on the teaching of English as a language, a subject which preoccupies him.

“It is really pedagogic--to tell governments and ministries how to teach English,” he said. “My book is about linguistics for the ordinary person, not for scholars.”


The sequel to his autobiography, “Little Wilson and Big God,” is due to be published later this year.