J. G. Ballard
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A startling and at times unsettlingly prescient collection of J. G. Ballard’s greatest interviews.
J.G. Ballard was a literary giant. Best known for his controversial bestseller ‘Crash’ and the memoir ‘Empire of the Sun’, he was a writer of unique talent – always surprising, frequently prescient.
Such acuity was not exclusive to his novels and, as this book reminds us, Ballard’s restive intelligence sharpened itself in dialogue. He entertained many with insights into the world as he saw it, and speculated, often correctly, about its future. Some of these observations earned Ballard an oracular reputation, and continue to yield an uncannily accurate commentary today.
‘Extreme Metaphors’ collects the finest interviews of his career. Conversations with Will Self, Jon Savage, Iain Sinclair and John Gray, and collaborators like David Cronenberg, are a reminder of his wit and humanity, testament to Ballard’s profound worldliness as much as his otherworldly imagination. This collection is an indispensable tribute to one of recent history’s most original thinkers.
from the lives led by these now-vanished British and Americans. Eventually, after numerous adventures, he is captured by the Japanese and finds his way to Lunghua camp. NORDLUND: What is Jim’s relationship to the camp? BALLARD: For Jim it represents complete security. It’s the only secure world that he has known, and as the war draws to a close, and it’s clear that the Japanese are losing the war, he becomes more and more worried. He’s terrified of what will happen to them when the Japanese
were fallible, that they could give in to despair, they could give in to petty squabbles, they could give in to weakness. And some could triumph over it despite their own weaknesses, because there were many brave people in the camp who’d triumphed over being rather modest and in many ways rather weak individuals, but they were able to triumph over their weaknesses and survive. That was a great lesson. BAKEWELL: What about you, though, the growing boy? How were you able to grow up with any set of
one of whom went to UEA, worked for them for many years). The BBC helped to shape our national culture, and may well be the greatest source of education and enlightenment the world has ever known, with the possible exception of the Roman Catholic church, for all the latter’s failings. But social and political change of a radical kind are now virtually impossible here. BAXTER: Your latest cluster of novels tests the controversial theory that transgression and murder are legitimate correctives to
You know, someone fills a room with mud, so now we’ve got to fill a room with mud that’s been chromium plated. WHITFORD: Jim, were you aware of the Independent Group while it was going on? BALLARD: I remember going to the This is Tomorrow exhibition in 1956, a long, long time ago. But if that show were to be mounted now I think it would be as fresh and as revolutionary in many ways. I think you have to give pop painters every credit for what they did. They liberated the external environment,
condensed novels, where I was able to cross all these events, at right angles if you like. Like cutting through the stem of a plant to expose the cross-section of its main vessels. So this technique was devised to deal with this fragmentation and overlay of reality, through the fragmentation of narrative. Although the plot lines are very strong in those stories. And they’re all variants. Each of the main stories in that collection describes the same man in the same state of mental crisis, but