Frasi di James Graham Ballard

James Graham Ballard photo
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James Graham Ballard

Data di nascita: 15. Novembre 1930
Data di morte: 19. Aprile 2009

James Graham Ballard è stato uno scrittore britannico, autore di romanzi e racconti di fantascienza, autobiografici e di satira sociale. Fortemente ispirato dalla pittura surrealista, Ballard è prossimo agli autori postmodernisti.

Frasi James Graham Ballard

„I think the key image of the 20th century is the man in the motor car. It sums up everything: the elements of speed, drama, aggression, the junction of advertising and consumer goods with the technological landscape.“

—  J. G. Ballard

Narration for Crash! (1971), a short film by Harley Cokeliss
Contesto: I think the key image of the 20th century is the man in the motor car. It sums up everything: the elements of speed, drama, aggression, the junction of advertising and consumer goods with the technological landscape. The sense of violence and desire, power and energy; the shared experience of moving together through an elaborately signalled landscape.
We spend a substantial part of our lives in the motor car, and the experience of driving condenses many of the experiences of being a human being in the 1970s, the marriage of the physical aspects of ourselves with the imaginative and technological aspects of our lives. I think the 20th century reaches its highest expression on the highway. Everything is there: the speed and violence of our age; the strange love affair with the machine, with its own death.

„The war was about to end and yet the Japanese were obsessed with knowing exactly how many prisoners they held. Jim closed his eyes to calm his mind, but the sentry barked at him, suspecting that Jim was about to play some private game of which Sergeant Nagata would disapprove.“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Empire of the Sun

Origine: Empire of the Sun (1984), p. 201
Contesto: He waited for the roll-call to end, reflecting on the likely booty attached to a dead American pilot. Soon enough, one of the Americans would be shot down into Lunghua Camp. Jim tried to decide which of the ruined buildings would best conceal his body. Carefully eked out, the kit and equipment could be bartered with Basie for extra sweet potatoes for months to come, and even perhaps a warm coat for the winter. There would be sweet potatoes for Dr. Ransome, whom Jim was determined to keep alive. He rocked on his heels and listened to an old woman crying in the nearby ward. Through the window was the pagoda at Lunghua Airfield. Already the flak tower appeared in a new light. For another hour Jim stood in line with the missionary widows, watched by the sentry. Dr. Ransome and Dr. Bowen had set off with Sergeant Nagata to the commandant's office, perhaps to be interrogated. The guards moved around the silent camp with their roster boards, carrying out repeated roll-calls. The war was about to end and yet the Japanese were obsessed with knowing exactly how many prisoners they held. Jim closed his eyes to calm his mind, but the sentry barked at him, suspecting that Jim was about to play some private game of which Sergeant Nagata would disapprove.

„He waited for the roll-call to end, reflecting on the likely booty attached to a dead American pilot.“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Empire of the Sun

Origine: Empire of the Sun (1984), p. 201
Contesto: He waited for the roll-call to end, reflecting on the likely booty attached to a dead American pilot. Soon enough, one of the Americans would be shot down into Lunghua Camp. Jim tried to decide which of the ruined buildings would best conceal his body. Carefully eked out, the kit and equipment could be bartered with Basie for extra sweet potatoes for months to come, and even perhaps a warm coat for the winter. There would be sweet potatoes for Dr. Ransome, whom Jim was determined to keep alive. He rocked on his heels and listened to an old woman crying in the nearby ward. Through the window was the pagoda at Lunghua Airfield. Already the flak tower appeared in a new light. For another hour Jim stood in line with the missionary widows, watched by the sentry. Dr. Ransome and Dr. Bowen had set off with Sergeant Nagata to the commandant's office, perhaps to be interrogated. The guards moved around the silent camp with their roster boards, carrying out repeated roll-calls. The war was about to end and yet the Japanese were obsessed with knowing exactly how many prisoners they held. Jim closed his eyes to calm his mind, but the sentry barked at him, suspecting that Jim was about to play some private game of which Sergeant Nagata would disapprove.

„These people were the first to master a new type of late twentieth-century life, they thrived on the rapid turnover of acquaintances, the lack of involvement with others, and the total self-sufficiency of lives which, needing nothing, were never disappointed“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro High-Rise

Origine: High-Rise (1975), Ch. 3
Contesto: A new social type was being created by the apartment building, a cool, unemotional personality impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life, with minimal needs for privacy, who thrived like an advanced species of machine in the neutral atmosphere... [They] were people who were content with their lives in the high-rise, who felt no personal objection to an impersonal steel and concrete landscape, no qualms about the invasion of their privacy by government agencies and data-processing organizations, and if anything welcomed these invisible intrusions, using them for their own purposes. These people were the first to master a new type of late twentieth-century life, they thrived on the rapid turnover of acquaintances, the lack of involvement with others, and the total self-sufficiency of lives which, needing nothing, were never disappointed.

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„The same trend can be seen in personal relationships, in the way people are expected to package themselves, their emotions and sexuality in attractive and instantly appealing forms.“

—  J. G. Ballard

Notes to The Atrocity Exhibition (1970; written 1967 - 1969, annotated 1990)
Contesto: All over the world major museums have bowed to the influence of Disney and become theme parks in their own right. The past, whether Renaissance Italy or ancient Egypt, is reassimilated and homogenized into its most digestible form. Desperate for the new, but disappointed with anything but the familiar, we recolonise past and future. The same trend can be seen in personal relationships, in the way people are expected to package themselves, their emotions and sexuality in attractive and instantly appealing forms.

„I think the 20th century reaches its highest expression on the highway. Everything is there: the speed and violence of our age; the strange love affair with the machine, with its own death.“

—  J. G. Ballard

Narration for Crash! (1971), a short film by Harley Cokeliss
Contesto: I think the key image of the 20th century is the man in the motor car. It sums up everything: the elements of speed, drama, aggression, the junction of advertising and consumer goods with the technological landscape. The sense of violence and desire, power and energy; the shared experience of moving together through an elaborately signalled landscape.
We spend a substantial part of our lives in the motor car, and the experience of driving condenses many of the experiences of being a human being in the 1970s, the marriage of the physical aspects of ourselves with the imaginative and technological aspects of our lives. I think the 20th century reaches its highest expression on the highway. Everything is there: the speed and violence of our age; the strange love affair with the machine, with its own death.

„Art is the principal way in which the human mind has tried to remake the world in a way that makes sense.“

—  J. G. Ballard

"JG Ballard: Theatre of Cruelty" interview by Jean-Paul Coillard in Disturb ezine (1998) http://www.jgballard.ca/interviews/colliard_interview_1998.html
Contesto: Art is the principal way in which the human mind has tried to remake the world in a way that makes sense. The carefully edited, slow-motion, action replay of a rugby tackle, a car crash or a sex act has more significance than the original event. Thanks to virtual reality, we will soon be moving into a world where a heightened super-reality will consist entirely of action replays, and reality will therefore be all the more rich and meaningful.

„For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Crash

"Introduction" to the French edition (1974) of Crash (1973); reprinted in Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)
Crash (1973)
Contesto: We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind — mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.

„Human beings today … are surrounded by huge institutions we can never penetrate“

—  J. G. Ballard

"Kafka in the Present Day", originally published in [London] Sunday Times (1983)
A User's Guide to the Millennium (1996)
Contesto: Human beings today … are surrounded by huge institutions we can never penetrate: the City [London's Wall Street], the banking system, political and advertising conglomerates, vast entertainment enterprises. They've made themselves user friendly, but they define the tastes to which we conform. They're rather subtle, subservient tyrants, but no less sinister for that.

„I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring.“

—  J. G. Ballard

Interview (30 October 1982) in Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)
Contesto: I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again … the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.

„Twenty years ago no one could have imagined the effects the Internet would have“

—  J. G. Ballard

As quoted in "Age of unreason" by Jeannette Baxter in The Guardian (22 June 2004)
Contesto: Twenty years ago no one could have imagined the effects the Internet would have: entire relationships flourish, friendships prosper…there’s a vast new intimacy and accidental poetry, not to mention the weirdest porn. The entire human experience seems to unveil itself like the surface of a new planet.

„People are locking their doors and switching off their nervous systems.“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Cocaine Nights

"Bobby Crawford"
Cocaine Nights (1996)
Contesto: Town-scapes are changing. The open-plan city belongs in the past — no more ramblas, no more pedestrian precincts, no more left banks and Latin quarters. We're moving into the age of security grilles and defensible space. As for living, our surveillance cameras can do that for us. People are locking their doors and switching off their nervous systems.

„All over the world major museums have bowed to the influence of Disney and become theme parks in their own right.“

—  J. G. Ballard

Notes to The Atrocity Exhibition (1970; written 1967 - 1969, annotated 1990)
Contesto: All over the world major museums have bowed to the influence of Disney and become theme parks in their own right. The past, whether Renaissance Italy or ancient Egypt, is reassimilated and homogenized into its most digestible form. Desperate for the new, but disappointed with anything but the familiar, we recolonise past and future. The same trend can be seen in personal relationships, in the way people are expected to package themselves, their emotions and sexuality in attractive and instantly appealing forms.

„Perhaps they resent never having had a chance to become perverse“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro High-Rise

Origine: High-Rise (1975), Ch. 11
Contesto: It's a mistake to imagine now we're all moving towards a state of happy primitivism. The model here seems to be less the noble savage than our un-innocent post-Freudian selves, outraged by all that over-indulgent toilet-training, dedicated breast-feeding and parental affection – obviously a more dangerous mix than anything our Victorian forebears had to cope with. Our neighbours had happy childhoods to a man and still feel angry. Perhaps they resent never having had a chance to become perverse.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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