Quotes by: J. G. Ballard

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Burroughs called his greatest novel 'Naked Lunch,' by which he meant it's what you see on the end of a fork. Telling the truth. It's very difficult to do that in fiction because the whole process of writing fiction is a process of sidestepping the truth. I think he got very close to it, in his way, and I hope I've done the same in mine.
J. G. Ballard
If you're against globalisation, it doesn't achieve much by sort of bombing the head offices of Shell or Nestle. You unsettle people much more by blowing up an Oxfam shop because people can't understand the motive.
J. G. Ballard
At the school I attended, the clergyman who ran the cathedral school in Shanghai would give lines to the boys as a punishment. They expected you to copy out, say, 20 or 30 pages from one of the school texts. But I found that rather than laboriously copying out something from a novel by Charles Dickens, it was easier if I made it up myself.
J. G. Ballard
Consumerism is so weird. It's a sort of conspiracy we collude in. You'd think shoppers spending their hard-earned cash would be highly critical. You know that the manufacturers are trying to have you on.
J. G. Ballard
My room is dominated by the huge painting, which is a copy of 'The Violation' by the Belgian surrealist Paul Delvaux. The original was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940, and I commissioned an artist I know, Brigid Marlin, to make a copy from a photograph. I never stop looking at this painting and its mysterious and beautiful women.
J. G. Ballard
I take for granted that for the imaginative writer, the exercise of the imagination is part of the basic process of coping with reality, just as actors need to act all the time to make up for some deficiency in their sense of themselves.
J. G. Ballard
I only realised why I keep living in Shepperton when I returned to China. All the people who moved there had come from places just like Shepperton, and so they built and lived in houses exactly like these. I now know I was drawn here because, on an unconscious level, Shepperton reminds me of Shanghai.
J. G. Ballard
I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.
J. G. Ballard
There's a logic today that places a greater value on celebrity the less it is accompanied by actual achievement. I don't think it's possible to touch people's imagination today by aesthetic means.
J. G. Ballard
During the 1960s, the Shanghai of my childhood seemed a portent of the media cities of the future, dominated by advertising and mass circulation newspapers and swept by unpredictable violence.
J. G. Ballard
I think of science fiction as being part of the great river of imaginative fiction that has flowed through English literature, probably for 400 or 500 years, well predating modern science.
J. G. Ballard
In 1949 - my father stayed on in Shanghai after the war. But in 1949, the Communists took over the whole of China, and in fact, my father was caught by the Communists in Shanghai. And he was there for about a year until he was finally able to get out.
J. G. Ballard
I was born in the city's general hospital on November 15, 1930, and we lived at 31 Amherst Avenue in the western suburbs. It was a magical place. There were receptions at the French Club, race meetings at the Shanghai Racecourse, and various patriotic gatherings at the British Embassy on the Bund, the city's glamorous waterfront area.
J. G. Ballard
There are some people, who place enormous value on their home and feel that it defines them, that a stain on the carpet is a personal defilement. There are others, and I think I am one of them, who are entirely indifferent to where they live.
J. G. Ballard
A reality that is electronic... Once everybody's got a computer terminal in their home, to satisfy all their needs, all the domestic needs, there'll be a dismantling of the present broadcasting structure, which is far too limited and limiting.
J. G. Ballard
Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.
J. G. Ballard
My upbringing was so middle-class and repressed. It wasn't until I was placed in Lunghua that I met anyone from any other social strata. When I did, I found them colossally vital.
J. G. Ballard
Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer's role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.
J. G. Ballard
There were no museums or galleries in Shanghai, but I was very keen on art - I was always sketching and copying, and sometimes I think that my whole career as a writer has been the substitute work of an unfulfilled painter.
J. G. Ballard
When the modern movement began, starting perhaps with the paintings of Manet and the poetry of Baudelaire and Rimbaud, what distinguished the modern movement was the enormous honesty that writers, painters and playwrights displayed about themselves. The bourgeois novel flinches from such notions.
J. G. Ballard
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