“We’ve definitely heard about Lana’s choice to title her record Ultraviolence,” Clare Preston-Pollitt, events and marketing officer at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, told MTV News. “We picked up on it some time ago and we were intrigued by it … It’s fantastic that ’A Clockwork Orange’ is still providing inspiration to such a diverse range of artists around the world over 50 years since its original publication.”
Del Rey’s new disc cribs its name from Anthony Burgess’ most popular novel, for those who didn’t spend their lunch period in high school reading in the corner (or who haven’t stepped foot in a HS English class).
Although we’re not sure yet how much the book influenced the album’s lyrics (although we could easily see Alex cast as the dark-as-dark lover in “Shades Of Cool”), the title itself is a term coined by Burgess himself meaning … just what it sounds like. Serious violence leading to serious hurts.
“Burgess was a prolific writer and musician who described himself as belonging to the ’fraternity of the renegades,'” Preston-Pollitt said. “He was a creative force, using his writing, especially ’A Clockwork Orange,’ to examine the nature of good and evil and the importance of free will. It would be interesting to hear what impact the book (or the film) had on Lana artistically.”
The film version of “A Clockwork Orange” was directed by Stanley Kubrick, who also directed the cinematic adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” a book often mentioned in Del Rey’s music.
“Lolita,” according to Preston-Pollitt, could have spawned the term “ultraviolence.”
“It could be that Burgess had been influenced by a passage in Nabokov’s ’Lolita’ where the narrator examines the word ’violence’ and notes that the word exists next to the word ’violet’ and ’violin’ etc. in the dictionary,” she said.
There are some seriously literary layers to Lana’s work here, people, but I digress…
Like the rest of us poor slobs waiting to see what the tracklist of Ultraviolence holds, Preston-Pollitt isn’t sure yet what she thinks of Lana’s use of the term. Still, she has no objection to the singer referencing it.
“If her use of the term ’ultraviolence’ and her reference to Anthony Burgess’ novel leads others across the globe to discover Burgess’ work, then that’s a great thing,” she said.