For many, The Atrocity Exhibition is J.G. Ballard’s most important work. It reads like an instruction manual in how to disrupt mass media and. The Atrocity Exhibition [J. G. Ballard, William Gaminara] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A prophetic and experimental masterpiece by. Written from , The Atrocity Exhibi- tion is Ballard’s most concentrated book—a prophetic masterpiece. Not since James Joyce and. William S.

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JG Ballard: five years on – a celebration | Books | The Guardian

Sep 22, Burninghouse rated it did not like it. For the reports claim to refer to the responses of, amongst others, mental patients, witnesses of the Kennedy assassination, soldiers, housewives, students, and psychotic children. Ballard is probably one of the great visionary writers regarding culture as it is now. Crocodiles acquire new skins of glassy silver scales. This is an accessible alternative. He occasionally whips open his mental raincoat and shows us what he’s got.

For all his modernity, however, Ballard was formed by the fashions of a previous age; he could never quite shake the values instilled in him by Biggles and Boy’s Own. And it’s all delivered J. Part science fiction, part eerie historical fiction, part pornography, its characters adhere to no rules of linearity or stability. Some of it is clearly wake-up-in-the-middle of the night silliness ‘Transliterated Pudenda!

The icons of Surrealism provides the writer with a huge amount of visual inspiration: Ballard always insisted he was more interested in inner space than outer space. Anything erected there, a city, a pyramid, a motel, stands outside time. Ballard lived far ahead of his time. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: This book certainly improves near the end.


Literature, one hears, is dead, or too enfeebled to risk arduous adventures.

In that story Coma relates to two other characters, Powers the atrodity who builds an enormous mandala, and his former patient Kaldren who is preoccupied with documenting the rundown of the universe and collects and collates radio messages from outer-space. Blake’s Shepperton is the world as it could be if the doors of perceptions were ripped from their hinges.

The Atrocity Exhibition

I think the author might have been intended the book to be funny. New readers will walk away from this book thinking that this could have been great. His goals are ambiguous, and seem to range from harmless staged re-enactments of violent acts to the actual launch of World War III.

For Ballard himself these surreal landscapes may have had a healing function. Best read as suggested by the author himself: But maybe its impact is dulled because I’m in the healthcare profession and read my own surgical reports for fun. None of them is to be identified by any distinguishable physical characteristics, although the implication is that they are all reasonably attractive.

But the endless newsreel clips of nuclear explosions that we saw on TV in the s a powerful incitement to the psychotic imagination, sanctioning gallard did have a carnival air, a media phenomenon which Stanley Kubrick caught perfectly at the end of Dr.


Oddly, they add some atmosphere and texture to the stories, as long as you don’t mind clinical cross sections of genitalia and other things that should be sexy reduced to a diagram that is the very opposite of sexy.

Traven is committed to a quest for some ontological fortress that exhibitioon provide him with the certitude that the world cannot give. The paradox that is pursued throughout Ballard’s work is that the surreal worlds created by the unrestrained human imagination may be more real than everyday human life.

Vale — clean, crisp, atrocjty bright, a beauty.

nallard The book was originally published in the UK in by Jonathan Cape. The landscapes of the Atrocity Exhibition stories are haunted by blown-up, Madonna-like images of women which sometimes literally fill the sky, but which fail to enable his male protagonists to relate to the real women they have beside them. A book like Pynchon’s V or Burrough’s cut-up novels to experience, not read.

Ballard’s mind was at times as sharp as a razor, and unfortunately I think readers of ‘The Atrocity Exhibition’ will agree that he occasionally used his weapon imprecisely. The Atrocity Exhibition is something like a shock therapy — it is painstakingly unpleasant but it makes one react.