Sunday, April 19, 2009

J.G. Ballard

Just learned that J.G. Ballard has died. It isn't unexpected, because he has been ill for some years, but it's still a major shock and a major loss. According to the BBC news, he was a 'cult' author - whatever that means. He was one of the few people to fully understand the second half of the twentieth century, and how it continues to shape the future.

UPDATE: obituaries by David Pringle in the Guardian, Christopher Priest in the Financial Times; others in the Telegraph, and the Times. Tributes and links collected at Ballardian.com.

ALSO: Clute on Ballard.

4 Comments:

Blogger PeteY said...

It's true, early obits are rather misrepresenting his work. Ironic that the print media would rather talk about film than books.

I'm very sorry he's gone. I reread The Drowned World recently and loved it all over again.

April 20, 2009 1:21 AM  
Blogger Keith Ferrell said...

I had "The Voices Of Time" down just night before last, and was swept away once again by his sheer control.

Not long before that I had gone back to my treasured copy of Love and Napalm: Export USA, struck as always by his (again) control but also the anger and, especially in the case of "Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan" his scalding prescience.

And there was, too, his sheer ongoing professionalism: he kept working, stretching and working, reaching and working, his own man and writer.

Doubtless when the masser (sic) media does the obits we'll hear mostly that his work inspired a Spielberg movie that started Christian Bale's ascent.

Speaking of the masser media, I'm going to spend some time with The Wind From Nowhere now.

April 20, 2009 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Sergey said...

Sad :(
I very like his short stories.
"The Time-Tombs", "Now the Sea Wakes".
In his short prose he showed the value of the word which is much diminished in our days.

April 20, 2009 10:02 AM  
Blogger PeteY said...

There's a nice article by Johann Hari at the Indy. Unfortunately the comments system wasn't working when I tried so I couldn't tell him I liked it.

April 23, 2009 4:41 AM  

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