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

„The art of Salvador Dalí, an extreme metaphor at a time when only the extreme will do, constitutes a body of prophecy about ourselves unequaled in accuracy since Freud's "Civilization And Its Discontents".“

—  J. G. Ballard

"Introduction" to Diary of a Genius (1974) by Salvador Dalí
Contesto: The uneasy marriage of reason and nightmare which has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an increasingly surreal world. More and more, we see that the events of our own times make sense in terms of surrealism rather than any other view — whether the grim facts of the death-camps, Hiroshima and Viet Nam, or our far more ambiguous unease at organ transplant surgery and the extra-uterine foetus, the confusions of the media landscape with its emphasis on the glossy, lurid and bizarre, its hunger for the irrational and sensational. The art of Salvador Dalí, an extreme metaphor at a time when only the extreme will do, constitutes a body of prophecy about ourselves unequaled in accuracy since Freud's "Civilization And Its Discontents". Voyeurism, self-disgust, the infantile basis of our fears and longings, and our need to pursue our own psychopathologies as a game — these diseases of the psyche Dali has diagnosed with dismaying accuracy. His paintings not only anticipate the psychic crisis which produced our glaucous paradise, but document the uncertain pleasures of living within it. The great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century — sex and paranoia — preside over his life, as over ours.

„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.

„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.

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„Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer's role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.“

—  J. G. Ballard

"Inner Landscape : Interview with J.G. Ballard" by Robert Lightfoot and David Pendleton, in Friends No. 17 (30 October 1970) http://www.jgballard.ca/media/1970_oct_friends_magazine.html; also quoted in The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993) by Robert Andrews
Contesto: A hundred years ago one has the impression that people had made a clear distinction between the outer world of work and of agriculture, commerce and social relationships — which was real — and the inner world of their own minds, day-dreams and hopes. Fiction on the one hand; reality on the other. This reality which surrounded individuals, the writer's role of inventing a fiction that encapsulated various experiences going on in the real world and dramatising them in fictional form, worked. Now the whole situation has been reversed. The exterior landscapes of the seventies are almost entirely fictional ones created by advertising, mass merchandising… politics conducted as advertising. It is very difficult for the writer.
Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer's role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.

„He welcomed the air raids, the noise of the Mustangs as they swept over the camp, the smell of oil and cordite, the deaths of the pilots, and even the likelihood of his own death.“

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

Empire of the Sun (1984)
Contesto: The two parachutes fell towards the burial mounds. Already a squad of Japanese soldiers in a truck with a steaming radiator sped along the perimeter road, on their way to kill the pilots. Jim wiped the dust from his Latin primer and waited for the rifle shots.
The halo of light which had emerged from the burning Mustang still lay over the creeks and paddies. For a few minutes the sun had drawn nearer to the earth, as if to scorch the death from the fields.
Jim grieved for these American pilots, who died in a tangle of their harnesses, within sight of a Japanese corporal with a Mauser and a single English boy hidden on the balcony of this ruined building. Yet their end reminded Jim of his own, about which he had thought in a clandestine way ever since his arrival at Lunghua.
He welcomed the air raids, the noise of the Mustangs as they swept over the camp, the smell of oil and cordite, the deaths of the pilots, and even the likelihood of his own death. Despite everything he knew he was worth nothing. He twisted his Latin primer, trembling with a secret hunger that the war would so eagerly satisfy.

„My novels offer an extreme hypothesis which future events may disprove — or confirm. They're in the nature of long-range weather forecasts.“

—  J. G. Ballard

As quoted in "Age of unreason" by Jeannette Baxter in The Guardian (22 June 2004) http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2004/jun/22/sciencefictionfantasyandhorror.jgballard
Contesto: The notions about the benefits of transgression in my last three novels are not ones I want to see fulfilled. Rather, they are extreme possibilities that may be forced into reality by the suffocating pressures of the conformist world we inhabit. Boredom and a deadening sense of total pointlessness seem to drive a lot of meaningless crimes, from the Hungerford and Columbine shootings to the Dando murder, and there have been dozens of similar crimes in the US and elsewhere over the past 30 years.
These meaningless crimes are much more difficult to explain than the 9/11 attacks, and say far more about the troubled state of the western psyche. My novels offer an extreme hypothesis which future events may disprove — or confirm. They're in the nature of long-range weather forecasts.

„In a real war no one knew which side he was on, and there were no flags or commentators or winners. In a real war there were no enemies.“

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

Origine: Empire of the Sun (1984), p. 6
Contesto: Real war was the thousands of Chinese refugees dying of cholera in the sealed stockades at Pootung, and the bloody heads of Communist soldiers mounted on pikes along the Bund. In a real war no one knew which side he was on, and there were no flags or commentators or winners. In a real war there were no enemies.

„The Chinese enjoyed the spectacle of death, Jim had decided, as a way of reminding themselves of how precariously they were alive.“

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

Origine: Empire of the Sun (1984), p. 40
Contesto: The Chinese enjoyed the spectacle of death, Jim had decided, as a way of reminding themselves of how precariously they were alive. They liked to be cruel for the same reason, to remind themselves of the vanity of thinking the world was anything else.

„If their work is satisfying people don't need leisure“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Super-Cannes

"Dr. Wilder Penrose"
Super-Cannes (2000)
Contesto: If their work is satisfying people don't need leisure in the old-fashioned sense. No one ever asks what Newton or Darwin did to relax, or how Bach spent his weekends. At Eden-Olympia work is the ultimate play, and play the ultimate work.

„The uneasy marriage of reason and nightmare which has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an increasingly surreal world.“

—  J. G. Ballard

"Introduction" to Diary of a Genius (1974) by Salvador Dalí
Contesto: The uneasy marriage of reason and nightmare which has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an increasingly surreal world. More and more, we see that the events of our own times make sense in terms of surrealism rather than any other view — whether the grim facts of the death-camps, Hiroshima and Viet Nam, or our far more ambiguous unease at organ transplant surgery and the extra-uterine foetus, the confusions of the media landscape with its emphasis on the glossy, lurid and bizarre, its hunger for the irrational and sensational. The art of Salvador Dalí, an extreme metaphor at a time when only the extreme will do, constitutes a body of prophecy about ourselves unequaled in accuracy since Freud's "Civilization And Its Discontents". Voyeurism, self-disgust, the infantile basis of our fears and longings, and our need to pursue our own psychopathologies as a game — these diseases of the psyche Dali has diagnosed with dismaying accuracy. His paintings not only anticipate the psychic crisis which produced our glaucous paradise, but document the uncertain pleasures of living within it. The great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century — sex and paranoia — preside over his life, as over ours.

„The human body as an obedient coolie, to be fed and hosed down“

—  J. G. Ballard, libro Super-Cannes

"Dr. Wilder Penrose"
Super-Cannes (2000)
Contesto: The human body as an obedient coolie, to be fed and hosed down, and given just enough sexual freedom to sedate itself.

„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.

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

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