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mms
25-11-2004, 10:28 PM
did anyone really enjoy this book,
he's been writing the same book over and over again with variations for a while, which is great because all his themes are always magic and hes a fantastic writer on lots of levels, but i could'nt massivley be bothered with this book, the humour took over a bit too much and it seemed a bit shrug shouldered, which is a bit depressing.

Melmoth
26-11-2004, 12:51 AM
I thought it was a return to form after all the Cannes stuff, the NFT and Millenium wheel section was superb.

sufi
26-11-2004, 08:05 PM
chelsea revolutionaries with petrol bombs made from an empty cognac bottle & old school tie
very classist - i laughed a lot....

i think i enjoyed more than super cannes/cocaine nights (?) whatever the last ones are called
yer right tho he does seem to cover the same themes again and again, but it's good to hear him on about heathrow, westway... familiar locations
but he's still a top lad tho, noone else quite has that pov

mms
29-11-2004, 07:14 PM
I thought it was a return to form after all the Cannes stuff, the NFT and Millenium wheel section was superb.


ahh you see i loved the schlocky detective aspect of those books,
maybe i should try again :)

cortempond
10-12-2004, 04:08 PM
I'm a massive Ballard fan, have read every single thing he's written (at least every thing I can get my hands on) but it seems that he is repeating the same cycle with Millenium that he did with Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes - The use of subversion and rebellion to wake up the sleeping masses by a messiah-type figure who brings them together to perform ritual acts of terror and/or crime, which are witnessed by a main character who is either a 1. doctor 2. psych. 3. scientist, who then, beyond their own sense becomes involved in these acts.

Because I am such a die-hard fan I'll read anything Ballard writes, but I would just like him to deviate a little.

Loki
10-12-2004, 04:34 PM
Ballard is one of my favourite authors but he seems to be locked in an inescapable groove at the moment...the last few books have been good but rather perfunctory, as if he's somehow biding his time before unleashing a new direction.

Personally, i think he's found himself stunned by the Millenium - it had been hanging around the corners of his pre 2000 work and when it came it was like Nick Cave finally finding redemption or William Burroughs faced with the enormity of AIDS as a non-symbolic sex virus; "where do we go now? We've spent our souls on documenting unseen horrors, millenial tensions etc and we've dragged ourselves beyond the pale and now...now... THIS.

The advent of the Millenium must have left Ballard feeling like Orwell in 1983 (no, not dead) - and, while I think he's easily talented enough to find a new group of synapses to twitch, it'll be a while yet before he's fully recovered.

Either that or the success of Empire of the Sun derailed his sensibilities and sent him spinning into the half-light between the mainstream and the outer edges. For now, I'll go back to his short stories - Myths of the Near Future is my current fave compilation; awesome stuff.

mms
10-12-2004, 06:40 PM
-light between the mainstream and the outer edges. For now, I'll go back to his short stories - Myths of the Near Future is my current fave compilation; awesome stuff.

yeah it's lush :D

polystyle desu
23-12-2004, 10:28 PM
[QUOTE=Loki]Ballard is one of my favourite authors but he seems to be locked in an inescapable groove at the moment...the last few books have been good but rather perfunctory, as if he's somehow biding his time before unleashing a new direction.

Personally, i think he's found himself stunned by the Millenium - it had been hanging around the corners of his pre 2000 work and when it came it was like Nick Cave finally finding redemption or William Burroughs faced with the enormity of AIDS as a non-symbolic sex virus; "where do we go now? We've spent our souls on documenting unseen horrors, millenial tensions etc and we've dragged ourselves beyond the pale and now...now... THIS.

Agreed , hope there's something 'off the groove' coming ...
There was not a lot of visibility for the book here , so I had only been able to pick up Cocaine in a
used bookstore in Thai , enjoyed it but it was already one of those stories he'd been doing and doing
Very much the same for Super Cannes ...

Still i will always 'hats off to JG
for everything before

have had plans to do an audio book /DVD/Movie of some selection of JG's works ,
hope to soon be able to get on with it

LRJP!
13-01-2005, 10:54 PM
I'm a massive Ballard fan, have read every single thing he's written (at least every thing I can get my hands on) but it seems that he is repeating the same cycle with Millenium that he did with Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes - The use of subversion and rebellion to wake up the sleeping masses by a messiah-type figure who brings them together to perform ritual acts of terror and/or crime, which are witnessed by a main character who is either a 1. doctor 2. psych. 3. scientist, who then, beyond their own sense becomes involved in these acts.



Surely that’s *the* Ballard plot – The Unlimited Dream Company, High Rise… The Atrocity Exhibition(?)

I think I miss the overt Sci-Fi elements of his work – the crystalline time distortion and such – they were so otherworldly and inscrutable in that prose… fantastic!

sufi
14-01-2005, 12:20 AM
yeah but the drowned world doesnt have jill dando innit, innit? ;)

stevienixed
10-02-2005, 12:27 PM
i just started this one (partially because his books always seem very *easy to read* and i'm too tired/dumb to finish "the hunger")

labrat
10-02-2005, 03:53 PM
check out k punk's latest post.oh dear, oh dear.

luka
10-02-2005, 06:18 PM
i saw that in todays standard. i was going to put it on the stories from the papers thread but maybe that's superfluous now.

LRJP!
10-02-2005, 06:41 PM
K-Punk (& therefore Ballard) scarily on the money...

k-punk
11-02-2005, 11:24 PM
I must admit I was INCREDIBLY sceptical about this one; I'll level with you, as an unreconstructed modernist, the Ballard I keep faith with (http://www.cinestatic.com/trans-mat/Fisher/FC2s9.htm) is the Ballard of the condensed novels of the late 60s. That experimental 'found' fiction had a deranged cold lucidity that his more psychologically conventional later novels - including <i>Crash</i> IMHO btw - could not maintain.

Ballard has always repeated himself. Great writers, genuine artists, can do nothing but repeat themselves. Or rather: becoming a genuine artist involves finding that which can only repeat through you. Eclecticism is the vice of the third rate, the mark of the AUthor who wants to remain transcendent above his work. Ballard, like Lovecraft, Kafka, Dostoyevksy, can only write one book; that's why Deleuze is right, their production demonstrates the true function of the Proper Name, which is to designate a certain zone of consistency.

Ballard is actually a rather poor novelist, I think. Characters are unconvincing, prose can be perfunctory - but he is an excellent fiction-theorist. And MP is brilliant theory-fiction; a marvellous diagraming of the pyschoses of the bourgeoisie. But what really fascinated about MP was that it unearthed a genuinely punk potential in that. (Full post on MP on k-p soon...)

In the meantime, wouldn't it make a great film? The British answer to Fight Club. (I volunteer to write the screenplay :) .)

Ness Rowlah
12-02-2005, 01:26 AM
Haven't read "MP" yet, but it sounds like "more of the same".

"High Rise" is the last Ballard I read and I found it a bit unsatisfactory and predictable
(again would make a great film), just as I did "Cocaine Nights"
(I just found it so weird that Charles does not help his jailed brother?
And It's almost the same book as "Super-Cannes").

"Crash" is fantastic though (I like the movie: why was it so controversial
over here? The use of colour by Cronenberg - the rescue machinery, the cars).

Have just started with Ballard's short stories - that will take ages ...

I don't think Ballard is a bad writer though, some sequences read like poetry,
it's a bit distanced (but then he gets he's info/inspiration from the papers, TV (and probably the net?)
these days), it's a bit glossy (no wonder he liked Helmut Newton's photography).

I still like it though. Sure - he's no Dostoyevsky or Hamsun
(I trust it was Hamsun's "The Hunger" which
was mentioned? Tangent - the excellent 16 min epic 12" B-side "The Hunger" by Winston Tong.
Which you now can get on CD as well: http://www.ltmpub.freeserve.co.uk/wtcat.html.
Bought the 12" when it came out, never got Tong's album -
but for a tenner I might get this CD as well, heck it's almost what I paid for one
_track_ last weekend (white label grime is expensive).

---

Here is an old interview with our man from Suburbia I found while doing
some other thing (probably searching for horrible JD covers).
On the real Atrocity Exhibition and more, interview is from 1971:

http://www.studio-international.co.uk/archive/Paolozzi-1971-182.htm



Just over a year ago I put on an exhibition of crashed cars, what I called new sculpture, at the New Arts Lab.

And I had three cars brought to the gallery. It was very easy to mount the show because the technology of moving cars around is highly developed. A crashed Mini, an A40 and a Pontiac which had been in a massive front-end collision, a Pontiac from that last grand period of American automobile styling, around the mid 50s. Huge flared tail-fins and a maximum of iconographic display.

And I had an opening party at the gallery I'd never seen 100 people get drunk so quickly. Now this has something to do with the cars on display. I also had a topless girl interviewing people on closed-circuit TV so that people could see themselves being interviewed around the crashed cars by this topless girl. This was clearly too much. I was the only sober person there.

dominic
10-03-2005, 07:19 AM
And MP is brilliant theory-fiction; a marvellous diagraming of the pyschoses of the bourgeoisie. But what really fascinated about MP was that it unearthed a genuinely punk potential in that. (Full post on MP on k-p soon...)

B/c you've long since deleted the comments boxes on K-Punk, let me say here that your post on MP is absolutely brilliant -- punk theory of class revolt -- "the moment at which ballard's 'new proletariat' become real political actors is when they cease to pursue their own class interests"

and you quote some great lines, such as:

"[In Blair's England] the class system a means of political control. Its real job isn't to suppress the proles, but to keep the middle classes down, make sure they're docile and subservient."

i had passed on buying MP for the reasons stated above in this thread, i.e., ballard always writes the same book, but your post has persuaded me o/w (though there's still a long catalogue of other things i should probably read first)

Also liked the "Queer Theory" post

As for the "Family Values" post , Hannah Arendt is quite good on this subject (aristocratic public duty vs the familial identity of euroepan nobility), and in ways that both agree & disagree w/ your analysis -- but give me a few months to get back to you on this one as i don't have the arendt books on hand (and it's all too blurred in my mind to recount from memory)

mms
13-03-2005, 07:44 PM
B/c you've long since deleted the comments boxes on K-Punk, let me say here that your post on MP is absolutely brilliant -- punk theory of class revolt -- "the moment at which ballard's 'new proletariat' become real political actors is when they cease to pursue their own class interests"

and you quote some great lines, such as:

"[In Blair's England] the class system a means of political control. Its real job isn't to suppress the proles, but to keep the middle classes down, make sure they're docile and subservient."

i had passed on buying MP for the reasons stated above in this thread, i.e., ballard always writes the same book, but your post has persuaded me o/w (though there's still a long catalogue of other things i should probably read first)

Also liked the "Queer Theory" post

As for the "Family Values" post , Hannah Arendt is quite good on this subject (aristocratic public duty vs the familial identity of euroepan nobility), and in ways that both agree & disagree w/ your analysis -- but give me a few months to get back to you on this one as i don't have the arendt books on hand (and it's all too blurred in my mind to recount from memory)

i liked the thread too, i'll give it another go now too.
did anyone spot the massive misspelling in the original headline, 'maintanance bills' ; weird.