20.4.09

The JGB Experience


4 comments:

genevieve said...

hey, thanks, I'd forgotten about that article.

Kauders said...

Not one of Ballard's more illuminating comments by my book: more like poststructuralist critique 101 circa 1976. "The bourgeois novel", who are you kidding? In this world who's not bourgeois for chrissake? And novelistic form doesn't express ideological force with the stark simplicity this assumes. Some novelists whom Ballard's claim abuses: Stendhal, Coetzee, Sterne, Henry James, Dostovesky...I'd add George Eliot, Hawthorne, Elizabeth Bowen, Jean Rhys, the Brontes, even E.M. Forster etc etc..

Ian said...

plus ca change

- I did a master's thesis on Ballard in the early 1980's at a fairly major English Uni - arguing the by now familiar case that Ballard's work was central to late C20th consciousness because it dealt - in all of its forms - with urban alienation and apocalypses of varying magnitudes. The resistance I encountered to the notion that a sci-fi hack could be taken at all seriously was significant - other writers whose work sat more comfortably within the lit-crit mainstream - Rushdie, Amis, Graeme Swift - were all proposed as more suitable alternatives .... I think it was only by agreeing to centre the thesis on "Empire of the Sun" - a key text admittedly but his least characteristic book - that I eventually got the work approved....

Even in the fulsome tributes that have appeared in the last few days one still senses a real overhang of that attitude. but he was the real deal and i am sure that like Conrad his significance will go on growing as the nature of these difficult times unfolds.

"the supply party" arrived today - and straight away we're back in Edmond-land - good stuff and I'm really looking forward to it.

cheers

Martin Edmond said...

Thanks Ian.

Kauders: Sterne, bourgeois? Don't think so. Coetzee, Dostoevsky? Your list animated more by irritation than good sense.