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

ALSO: Clute on Ballard.


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 a.m.  
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 a.m.  
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 a.m.  
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 a.m.  

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