Making connections when none exist

Christiaan Huygens, the famous 17th century astronomer, horologist and the inventor of the pendulum clock, was Dutch.

Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands.

This made me wonder if Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange had a Dutch connection.

One of the first made-up words I remember coming across in the book was the word for friends - droogs. The control panel of our dryer had the word droog in half the setting names. Droog, being the Dutch word for dry, needs no reason for being present in those quantities there.

In the light of this recent evidence (if it can be called that), my belief in the book’s Dutch connection grew stronger.

The Eye film institute recently hosted an exposition on life and works of Stanley Kubrick. They advertised it through a giant poster that covered an entire multi-storeyed building on the North Bank of the river IJ. They chose Alex, the protagonist from A Clockwork Orange, as the poster’s face:

Alex’s menacing gaze followed me wherever I went - even up to the 5th floor cafeteria at work.

Despite all these coincidences” there seems to be no connection between the book and the Dutch language or the Netherlands. Or rather, there is no apparent connection that the Internet has revealed yet.

P.S. The gigantic poster was taken down a few days ago and replaced with another one announcing the temporary move of the Van Gogh museum’s exhibits to Hermitage Amsterdam. Plenty of Dutch connections there!

September 13, 2012