19 April 2009


J G Ballard

I find myself having a hard time describing his work, or how the loss of him makes me feel. Which I suppose is a bit Ballardian. I read and was hugely impressed with his writing, though I never fell personally in love with it. My favourite of his novels was Concrete Island, sort of a retelling of Robinson Crusoe in which a man crashes his car at a highway interchange and finds himself trapped in the forgotten space between ramps.

Who else could inspire film adaptations by both David Cronenberg and Steven Spielberg? The former, Crash, Ballard called a better version of his novel than the novel itself, which may be why at Cannes they had to invent an “Audacity Prize” to accommodate how such a bad film could also be a great film. The latter, Empire of the Sun, is to my mind Spielberg's best film ... and is of course almost forgotten.

Lots more about him and his work at JGBallard.com.

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