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Lost writings found in Anthony Burgess archive

12th May 2011

A number of previously unpublished works by Anthony Burgess have been found in an archive of the late author's possessions.

The findings include 20 short stories that have never seen the light of day and a screenplay for a film about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, which would have been directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Another major discovery was Burgess's own screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel A Clockwork Orange, which was discarded by Kubrick, who wrote his own script for the controversial 1971 production.

Dr Andrew Biswell, the writer's biographer and director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, which now owns the archive, said the sheer volume of unpublished material is overwhelming.

Other writings discovered by researchers include the script for a theatre production of the life of Harry Houdini, a history of London blending non-fiction with fiction and the writer's own interpretation of the history of English literature.

The content of much of the work is also surprising, according to Dr Biswell, who said many of the short stories focus on the supernatural and other themes Burgess rarely explored in his published works.

'I'm staggered by the extent of the collection sometimes - I come down into the basement and I look at it and I think, my God, did this man never sleep?' the researcher commented.

The foundation now hopes to publish the material and is also considering commissioning aspiring writers to complete the unfinished works in the archive.

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