Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye, JGB

We're both too sad to really express anything right now.

J. G. Ballard has died. (Telegraph. Boing Boing. Guardian. Independent. Times.)

As ever, the links to know are Simon's place, Rick's place, and Mike's place.


[UPDATE] Not long ago, Toby Litt expressed well that distinct feeling that emerges when reading the best of Ballard's fiction:

When I read JG Ballard, I go into a particular kind of trance. The effect of his books isn't comparable to those of any other writer. His prose, right from the beginning, has a mesmerising pace, rhythm and decorum all its own.

While I would agree with Toby about The Drowned World (which was the book that first turned me into an admirer after a difficult first-attempt at The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash), I think that of Ballard's mid-period work I prefer High-Rise.

Of the later stuff, I think Super-Cannes beats out Millennium People. They're difficult to compare, though, since the latter's tone is far more amused irony, even if it does--as ever--go to some pretty dark places.

But with Ballard, of course, one is spoilt for choice when it comes to picking favourites...


Some links from our archives dealing in one way or another with his writing:

"Seeing everything makes you sad": My translation of a Ballard interview with Welt am Sonntag.

Perchance to dream

Speaking in tongues

Handle with care

Home movies

That's entertainment

Dream the Unlimited Dream

A vision from the hidden side of the sun

Angry (but creative) old men

Matters of Honour(s)

More thoughts on rampant pathologies, modernist ziggurats and countless rabbits

Nightmares at noon

The revolting middle classes

Middle-class hero?

'Dangerous bends ahead'

Worth reading this weekend [Bruce Sterling on Ballard]

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