The End of the World News

Scope and Content

The End of the World News is a novel by Burgess, first published in the UK in 1982. The apocalytpic narrative presents three simultaneous lines of plot: Sigmund Freud's discovery of the unconscious; Leon Trotsky's visit to New York in 1917; and the final destruction of the earth by an asteroid. All three of these stories had begun life as commissions for film, television and theatre, namely his libretto Trotsky's in New York!, Puma (Cat Day), or Lynx, and The Brain Killers. In fusing each of these stories into one, Burgess attempts to mimic the experience of watching three television channels simultaneously: on the dust-jacket of the original Hutchinson edition of the novel, Burgess writes "It is the new way of reading, derived from the new way of watching television. To view one cannel at a time is no longer enough: we need three distinct yet simultaenous imaginative stimuli: the family of the middle and late 1980s will have to be a three-screen family."

This series consist of a corrected proof of the Hutchinson 1982 edition of the novel.

Source: "The Real Life of Anthony Burgess" by Andrew Biswell (Picador, 2005)