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The Ink Trade
Selected Journalism 1961-1993
Edited by Will Carr
RRP: GBP 15.99
ISBN: 978 1 784103 93 4
Categories: 20th Century, British
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: May 2018
292 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
‘The title of journalist is probably very noble, but I lay no real claim to it. I am, I think, a novelist and a musical composer manqué: I make no other pretensions …’ (Anthony Burgess)
Despite his modest claims, Anthony Burgess was an enormously prolific journalist. During his life he published two substantial collections of journalism, Urgent Copy (1968) and Homage to Qwert Yuiop (1986); a posthumous collection of occasional essays, One Man’s Chorus, was published in 1998. These collections are now out of print, and Burgess’s journalism, a key part of his prodigious output, has fallen into neglect.
The Ink Trade is a brilliant new selection of his reviews and articles, some savage, some crucial in establishing new writers, new tastes and trends. Between 1959 and his death in 1993 Burgess contributed to newspapers and periodicals around the world: he was provocative, informative, entertaining, extravagant, and always readable.
Editor Will Carr presents a wealth of unpublished and uncollected material.
'Reading Burgess is pleasant, suggestive and fun.'
Rafa Latorre, El Mundo
'Reading the entertaining collection is like popping into a pub to spend an hour with an erudite, garrulous polymath. When you resurface, blinking towards the light, you look at things a little differently.'
N. J. McGarrigle, The Irish Times
'Offering the wisdom, sense of discovery and thrill of a dozen fine novels, can be read as a practical handbook of reading, writing and reviewing, as a compendium of shrewd maxims and epigrammatic wit, and as a defence of the business of writing alongside a gently ironic lament to a writer's plight in the age of mass media and marketing. For those with a deeper interest in Burgess's bountiful output, it is also a vital source for his theories of literature and language, and how these animate his work.'
James Hopkin, NewStatesman
'One of the things that The Ink Trade shows is that Burgess, whose main fault as a reviewer was excessive compassion for his fellow authors, can still serve as a model for beginners and old hacks alike.'
Kevin Jackson, Literary Review
'A commitment to the value of writing and literature comes across with vigour and rigour in "The Ink Trade".'
Sean Sheehan, The Prisma
'The writings cover a range of subjects, including Metropolis, Fritz Lang's classic 1927 film, and fellow writers Ernest Hemingway and JB Priestley. They also include an unpublished 1991 lecture on censorship.... The essays span Burgess's journalistic career, including the Yorkshire Post, from which he was sacked after reviewing one of his own books - Inside Mister Enderby... The review, dated 1963, is included in The Ink Trade.'
Dalya Alberge, The Guardian
'Carr has achieved a heroic feat in the editing of this book. From the vast mountain of Burgess' non-fiction writing he has curated a selection that is intensely readable, pleasantly eclectic, and balances the published and the unpublished in such a way that those who have read all of Burgess' previous collections will enjoy this book as much as the newcomer.'
Joe Darlington, The Manchester Review of Books
'Language is definitely of top concern in these articles. He believed that language and wordplay should be of top concern to anyone... Burgess tried to adopt the role of valiant, though uncompromising, protector and defender of great literature.'
Blair James, The Manchester Review of Books
A 'Book to Look Out For in 2018' in Herald Scotland
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