Quotes by: J. G. Ballard

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J. G. Ballard
Ballard in 1993
Born James Graham Ballard
(1930-11-15)15 November 1930
Shanghai International Settlement, China
Died 19 April 2009(2009-04-19) (aged 78)
London, England
Occupation Novelist, short story writer
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Queen Mary, University of London[1]
Genre Science fiction
transgressive fiction
Literary movement New Wave
Notable works Crash
Empire of the Sun
High-Rise

E. Klimov's 'Come and See,' about partisans fighting the Germans in Byelorussia, is the greatest anti-war film ever made.
J. G. Ballard
I made a very slatternly mother, notably unkeen on housework, unaware that homes need to be cleaned now and then, and too often to be found with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.
J. G. Ballard
Medicine was certainly intended to be a career. I wanted to become a psychiatrist, an adolescent ambition which, of course, is fulfilled by many psychiatrists.
J. G. Ballard
I don't think any particular painters have inspired me, except in a general sense. It was more a matter of corroboration. The visual arts, from Manet onwards, seemed far more open to change and experiment than the novel, though that's only partly the fault of the writers. There's something about the novel that resists innovation.
J. G. Ballard
In March 1943, my parents, four-year-old sister and I were interned with other foreign civilians at Lunghua camp, a former teacher training college outside Shanghai, where we remained until the end of August 1945.
J. G. Ballard
To my child's eyes, which had seen nothing else, Shanghai was a waking dream where everything I could imagine had already been taken to its extreme.
J. G. Ballard
I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic. A Buick radiator grille is as much a political statement as a Rolls Royce radiator grille, one enshrining a machine aesthetic driven by a populist optimism, the other enshrining a hierarchical and exclusive social order.
J. G. Ballard
The chief role of the universities is to prolong adolescence into middle age, at which point early retirement ensures that we lack the means or the will to enforce significant change.
J. G. Ballard
The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam.
J. G. Ballard
My father worked, and my mother played bridge. Every time I went out of the house, I was chauffeur-driven with my nanny next to me to stop me being kidnapped.
J. G. Ballard
Orwell's '1984' convinced me, rightly or wrongly, that Marxism was only a quantum leap away from tyranny. By contrast, Huxley's 'Brave New World' suggested that the totalitarian systems of the future might be subservient and ingratiating.
J. G. Ballard
Presumably all obsessions are extreme metaphors waiting to be born. That whole private mythology, in which I believe totally, is a collaboration between one's conscious mind and those obsessions that, one by one, present themselves as stepping-stones.
J. G. Ballard
Medicine was certainly intended to be a career. I wanted to become a psychiatrist, an adolescent ambition which, of course, is fulfilled by many psychiatrists. The doctor/psychiatrist figures in my writing are alter egos of a kind, what I would have been had I not become a writer - a personal fantasy that I've fed into my fiction.
J. G. Ballard
The surrealists, and the modern movement in painting as a whole, seemed to offer a key to the strange postwar world with its threat of nuclear war. The dislocations and ambiguities, in cubism and abstract art as well as the surrealists, reminded me of my childhood in Shanghai.
J. G. Ballard
Most English writers are not interested in change but in the social novel. That demands a static backdrop. I'm intensely interested in change - probably as a matter of self-preservation. What the hell is going to happen next?
J. G. Ballard
Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It's going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.
J. G. Ballard
It's true that I have very little idea what I shall be writing next, but at the same time I have a powerful premonition of everything that lies ahead of me, even ten years ahead.
J. G. Ballard
I've seen descriptions of advanced TV systems in which a simulation of reality is computer-controlled; the TV viewer of the future will wear a special helmet. You'll no longer be an external spectator to fiction created by others, but an active participant in your own fantasies/dramas.
J. G. Ballard
I could sum up the future in one word, and that word is 'boring.' The future is going to be boring.
J. G. Ballard
I would love to have been a painter in the tradition of the surrealist painters who I admire so much.
J. G. Ballard
There are signs, I think, that people aren't satisfied by consumerism: that people resent the fact that the most moral decision in their lives is choosing what colour their next car will be.
J. G. Ballard
Boredom is a fearsome prospect. There's a limit to the number of cars and microwaves you can buy. What do you do then?
J. G. Ballard
I believe that if it were possible to scrap the whole of existing literature, all writers would find themselves inevitably producing something very close to SF ... No other form of fiction has the vocabulary of ideas and images to deal with the present, let alone the future.
J. G. Ballard
The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we're sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we're not.
J. G. Ballard
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