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Writer: JG Ballard

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The great JG Ballard

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Writer: JG Ballard

Postby fancyjamtime on Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:52 am

Just heard the news that JG Ballard is writing his autobiography as he has advanced prostate cancer. Was going to find the C/NC to post the news but oddly there isn't one.

Surely someone who has written such tremendous novels as "Crash", "The Unlimited Dream Company", "The Atrocity Exhibition" and "High Rise" (among many others) deserves Crap/Not Crap validation.

Count John Foxx, Comsat Angels, Joy Division, Hawkwind and Jawbox (and less successfully Buggles and The Klaxons) as being very directly influenced by Ballard, not to mention scads of writers.

Sucks. Not Crap.
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Postby cjh on Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:54 am

Sad news. I was sorry to hear about that, piece in Sunday's Times, tho it seems entirely in character to use his illness as a spur to complete another book. Somewhat selfishly, I hope he also has the chance to finish his novel inspired by terrorism, something I think he could really get his teeth in to.

Probably in light of all of that, next Sunday's Radio 4's Open Book has Will Self talking about Ballard's work and its influence on him - the link will be good to tune in/listen again.

(There's quite a lot of opinion about JGB in this thread.)


Edit: Not bad BBC Ballard doc on YouTube
Last edited by cjh on Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cranius on Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:09 am

This site might be of interest to people who dig in Ballard:

http://www.ballardian.com/

Lots of resources there.

Empire of the Sun is awesome.

I know Mike Davis loves to use Ballard to illustrate his ideas of urbanity.

(Ballard reviews Mike Davis's Dead Cities here)
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Postby rashiedgarrison on Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:19 am

It is my new year's resolution to read all the Ballard I haven't yet read. I got The Wind From Nowhere the other day, which is excellent so far. And thanks for reminding me to read more Mike Davis this year, Andrew. I've not read any since City of Quartz.
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Postby Rotten Tanx on Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:33 am

I just reread my comments from the other thread. Sod it, I'll pick up another of his books.

It's been several years since I read Crash, High Rise and Super-Cannes.
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Postby iembalm on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:25 am

Atrocity Exhibition is aces. I enjoyed Crash but liked the Cronenberg movie more. Heresy, I know. Ballard did some potboiler end-of-the-world novels early in his career. One of them about apocalypse by high winds.
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Postby Red Square on Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:03 pm

i've only read Super-Cannes and thought it was an interesting book...i want to get more...shame about his cancer though...
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Postby Mark Hansen on Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:41 pm

Man, that sucks. I'll be looking forward to reading his autobiography though.

On my short list of authors whose books I like to re-read again and again.

Always interesting. I especially love "Concrete Island" and "High-Rise". "Super-Cannes" is good as well, as are many of his short stories.

A collection of interviews with him that I have is very good, funny and enlightening.

Saw him do readings once or twice in Chicago. Very witty man.
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Postby fancyjamtime on Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:43 am

The ReSearch Ballard compilation is great with tons of interviews and rare stuff. Also enjoyed the ReSearch edition of "The Atrocity Exhibition" which was well annotated although I sometimes find the illustrations to be gimmicky.

Off topic, all the ReSearch materials are worth having in my opinion.
Last edited by fancyjamtime on Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Red Square on Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:04 pm

yeah, i have the industrial culture handbook...i plan on getting more in the future...good stuff indeed...
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby cjh on Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:39 pm

I'm confident I've seen every Ballard morsel in the public domain a plummy, chummy new addition, a cosy chat with Joan Bakewell.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby enframed on Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:19 pm

Never read him but recently got a couple of used books: Super-Cannes and Rushing to Paradise. Looking forward to reading them.
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Postby raygun on Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:28 pm

In 'Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan', J.G. Ballard wrote:INCIDENCE OF ORGASMS IN FANTASIES OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH RONALD REAGAN
Patients were provided with assembly kit photographs of sexual partners during intercourse. In each case Reagan’s face was superimposed upon the original partner. Vaginal intercourse with "Reagan" proved uniformly disappointing, producing orgasm in 2% of subjects.

Axillary, buccal, navel, aural, and orbital modes produced proximal erections. The preferred mode of entry overwhelmingly proved to be the rectal. After a preliminary course in anatomy it was found that the caecum and transverse colon also provided excellent sites for excitation. In an extreme 12% of cases, the simulated anus of post-colostomy surgery generated spontaneous orgasm in 98% of penetrations. Multiple-track cine-films were constructed of "Reagan" in intercourse during (a) campaign speeches, (b) rear-end auto collisions with one and three year model changes, (c) with rear exhaust assemblies...

THE CONCEPTUAL ROLE OF REAGAN
Fragments of Reagan’s cinetized postures were used in the construction of model psychodramas in which the Reagan-figure played the role of husband, doctor, insurance salesman, marriage counselor, etc.


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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby placeholder on Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:02 am

My favorite writer.

NOT CRAP.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby Nina on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:01 am

enframed wrote:Never read him but recently got a couple of used books: Super-Cannes and Rushing to Paradise. Looking forward to reading them.


I highly recommend checking out Love and Napalm: Export U.S.A., or the RE/Search annotated version that FJT mentioned above titled The Atrocity Exhibition. The Ronald Reagan snippet is from one of the chapters. Crash began as a short story and is also in the collection.

Concrete Island and High Rise are fantastic as well. Concrete Island was the first book of his I read. I never looked at freeways the same after reading it.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby tmidgett on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:39 am

Crash, Concrete Island, and High Rise are landmarks. His essays and other short stuff, all great.

He wasn't as inventive formally as William Burroughs, but otherwise he was in that league.

And he was still pretty inventive formally.

Not crap.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby Nina on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:45 am

Can't believe I forgot Vermilion Sands.

Another great collection of short stories.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby zartoid on Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:47 am

If you put The Crystal World, Terminal Beach and Vermilion Sands together, you get to see this incredible dreamlike universe, perhaps almost totally at odds with the style Ballard has become known for in other works. I love this stuff, its like having one of those dreams where everything is beautifully strange yet complete unto itself.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby the Classical on Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:03 am

Obv not crap, so many great books, I really love Super-Cannes a sort of late period masterpiece.

I think about that book a lot.
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Re: Writer: JG Ballard

Postby tmidgett on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:28 am

Ima hafta read Super-Cannes now.
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