J.G. Ballard (1930-2009)

Jim bows out. The Atrocity Exhibition closes.   During the sixties & seventies, he & Burroughs were the masters of inventive prose for me. On my mind this morning, clear as if it was yesterday, the trip back from his suburban house, around 1972, with Carl Weissner, after an afternoon spent sipping whisky. He had consoled me when I told him that no French publisher was willing to publish The Atrocity Exhibition, which I had started to translate, telling me that maybe it was too early, but that the time would come, as he poured another scotch. It did, eventually. On the train, Carl and I looked out at the grey London burbs flitting by in their grime and apocalyptic desolation. It was clear to us then that Ballard was no science-fiction writer, but a satiric realist: his worlds were starkly all around us. Still are.

Below some photos I took last November at a J.G. Ballard exhibition at the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB).

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