If you write fiction you are, in a sense, corrupted. There's a tremendous corruptibility for the fiction writer because you're
dealing mainly with sex and violence. These remain the basic themes, they're the basic themes of Shakespeare whether you
like it or not.
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author, critic. Face (London, Dec. 1984).

The aura of the theocratic death penalty for adultery still clings to America, even outside New England, and multiple divorce,
which looks to the European like serial polygamy, is the moral solution to the problem of the itch. Love comes into it too, of
course, but in Europe we tend to see marital love as an eternity which encompasses hate and also indifference: when we
promise to love we really mean that we promise to honour a contract. Americans, seeming to take marriage with not enough
seriousness, are really taking love and sex with too much.
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author, critic. You've Had Your Time, ch. 2 (1990).

Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really
comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its
value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person,
not the book.
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author, critic. You've Had Your Time, ch. 2 (1990).

We are supposed to be the children of Seth; but Seth is too much of an effete nonentity to deserve ancestral regard. No, we
are the sons of Cain, and with violence can be associated the attacks on sound, stone, wood and metal that produced
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author, critic. Book review in Observer (London, 26 Nov. 1989).

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it.
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author, critic. Face (London, Dec. 1984).

Violence among young people . . . is an aspect of their desire to create. They don't know how to use their energy creatively
so they do the opposite and destroy.
Anthony Burgess (1917-93), British author and critic. London Independent (London, 31 Jan. 1990).

excerpt from A Clockwork Orange:
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete,
Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really Dim, and we sat in the Korova
Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a
flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a
milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what
these mestos were like, things changing so skorry these days and
everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being read much
neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else.
They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet
against prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put
into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or
synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give
you a nice quick horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His
Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all
over your mozg. Or you could peet milk with knives in it, as we used
to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit
of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this
evening I'm starting off the story with.