Frasi James Graham Ballard

„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
Context: 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. p. 40

„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
Context: 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. Narration for Crash! (1971), a short film by Harley Cokeliss

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„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
Context: 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. Narration for Crash! (1971), a short film by Harley Cokeliss

„Civilised life is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is, we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.“

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: In wartime Shanghai I saw so many horrors … Civilised life is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is, we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.

„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
Context: 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. "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

„Everywhere you look — Britain, the States, western Europe — people are sealing themselves into crime-free enclaves.“

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: Everywhere you look — Britain, the States, western Europe — people are sealing themselves into crime-free enclaves. That's a mistake — a certain level of crime is part of the necessary roughage of life. Total security is a disease of deprivation. "Paula Hamilton"

„I think the new science fiction, which other people apart from myself are now beginning to write, is introverted, possibly pessimistic rather than optimistic, much less certain of its own territory.“

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: I think the new science fiction, which other people apart from myself are now beginning to write, is introverted, possibly pessimistic rather than optimistic, much less certain of its own territory. There's a tremendous confidence that radiates through all modern American science fiction of the period 1930 to 1960; the certainty that science and technology can solve all problems. This is not the dominant form of science fiction now. I think science fiction is becoming something much more speculative, much less convinced about the magic of science and the moral authority of science. There's far more caution on the part of the new writers than there was. Conversation with George MacBeth on Third Programme (BBC) (1 February 1967), published in The New S.F. (1969), edited by Langdon Jones

„By the logic of the high-rise those most innocent of any offence became the most guilty“

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: The untruth of the accusation, which they all knew well, only served to reinforce it... By the logic of the high-rise those most innocent of any offence became the most guilty. Ch. 13

„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
Context: 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. "Introduction" to Diary of a Genius (1974) by Salvador Dalí

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

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: 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. "Bobby Crawford"

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

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: 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. As quoted in "Age of unreason" by Jeannette Baxter in The Guardian (22 June 2004)

„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
Context: 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. 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

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

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: 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. Interview (30 October 1982) in Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)

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

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: 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. "Kafka in the Present Day", originally published in [London] Sunday Times (1983)

„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
Context: 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. "Introduction" to the French edition (1974) of Crash (1973); reprinted in Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)

„These days adolescence stretches much further into adulthood than it used to. There's no longer any encouragement to be mature.“

—  J. G. Ballard
Context: I began to become an adult when I was 24 and got married and had children. That matures you, but I wouldn't say I was fully an adult until I was in my forties. The trouble with the whole adult debate is that if you're asking 18-year-olds to go out and fight wars for you then you can't deny them adult rights even though in sorts of other ways they wouldn't qualify until they were about 25. These days adolescence stretches much further into adulthood than it used to. There's no longer any encouragement to be mature. As quoted in Elevator Music (1994) by Joseph Lanza

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

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