Terminal Atrocity Zone: Ballard

Terminal Atrocity Zone: Ballard


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"Terminal Atrocity Zone" examines a critical 7-year period in the work of author J G Ballard, ranging from 1966 to 1973. During this time, Ballard produced the series of "condensed novels" which would eventually form his book The Atrocity Exhibition; began a series of "surgical fictions"; created a series of collages and other printed art-pieces; staged his controversial Crashed Cars exhibition in London; made Crash!, a television film on automobile culture; and initiated the ideas and texts which would culminate in the publication of his key novel, Crash.

"Terminal Atrocity Zone" includes a detailed overview of this period, with various original essays, and also with revealing interviews from the time in which Ballard discusses his work and ideas in depth; plus a section of works by Ballard himself, including: Coitus 80, the first "surgical fiction"; Journey Across A Crater, an experimental "condensed" blueprint for many of the ideas later developed in Crash; Ballard's own forewords from foreign-language editions of The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash; and Ballard's cryptic collage series of Advertiser's Announcements, created between 1967 and 1971.

Also included is the first published analysis of Ballard's terminal, unfinished novel, World Versus America.

"Terminal Atrocity Zone" comprises an essential document of one of the world's most original and controversial authors at the seminal point of his creativity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985762513
Publisher: Sun Vision Press
Publication date: 05/31/2013
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

J.G. Ballard (15 November 1930 — 19 April 2009) was an English novelist, short story writer, and prominent member of the New Wave movement in science fiction. His best-known books are Crash (1973), adapted into a film by David Cronenberg, The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), and the semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun (1984), made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

Read an Excerpt

In the mid-1960s, J.G. Ballard intensified a process, already a preoccupation of his earlier work, by which his fiction underwent condensation, narrative compacting, and insurgence into visual arts forms. That process generated a series of image/text works, the Advertiser's Announcements, which he published on the back-covers of issues of Ambit magazine between 1967 and 1971, and formed exploratory test-zones towards his most exhaustive experiment in condensed fiction, The Atrocity Exhibition (1970). In Ballard's short fiction, that process also involved the appropriation of pre-existent medical reports, on such subjects as interventions on sexual organs, in which Ballard restricted himself to the insertion of the names of prominent actresses and public figures, or rearranged and accentuated elements of the sparse medical narratives. In many ways, that process of experimentation with fiction, as the systematic reduction of text to its core obsessions, was undertaken through the transformation of text into image, in which text is rendered so dense, and subjected to such pressure, that it mutates into image. Image, in turn, is exacerbated to the maximal degree, with all emotional aspects rigorously excised, with the result that the narrated image abruptly oscillates from pressurised reduction to maximal, excessive expansion, and its relationship with ocular scrutiny finally disintegrates or combusts, erasing all recognisable parameters. 'This magnification of image to the point where it becomes unrecognisable is a keynote of The Atrocity Exhibition', as William Burroughs wrote in his introduction to the book. An insane text, with the capacity to mutate into image, is the only form able to project Ballard's wasteland-cityscapes, abandoned cinemas, motorways and mental hospitals, all populated exclusively by the terminally insane. That unsustainable strain of condensation in Ballard's writing was released by 1973 with Crash, but by a final aberration, it returned to his work in the notebook form of his final fiction project, World Versus America, from around 2005, when the contemporary world has become a global insane asylum of arbitrary reversals and compulsions, and a European coalition of America's former allies must now unite to destroy it, using terrorist strategies, as the only means to annul its irrepressible neo-colonial manias. .......

Table of Contents

Introduction Candice Black 005

Ballard's Terminal Treatments Stephen Barber 007

Advertiser's Announcements J.G. Ballard 021

i Homage To Claire Churchill 022

ii The Angle Between Two Walls 023

iii A Neural Interval 024

iv Placental Insufficiency 025

v Venus Smiles 026

Foreword to "The Atrocity Exhibition" J.G. Ballard 027

Coitus 80 J.G. Ballard 029

Journey Across A Crater J.G. Ballard 033

Foreword To "Crash" J.G. Ballard 043

"Crash!" On Television Jack Sargeant 049

A Transcript of the Film "Crash!" 061

A Psychopathic Hymn Simon Ford 065

Conflicted Images Chris Horrocks 077

The Psychotic Screen Jack Sargeant 089

An Interview J.G. Ballard 1970 093

A Conversation J.G. Ballard 1973 101

Selected Bibliography 1966-1973 110

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