J. G. Ballard Short Fiction Analysis
Writing against the grain of conventional realism has become the trademark of an author whose fiction is after bigger game: the fantastic truth hidden behind the scintillating facade of contemporary Western culture. A writer of extraordinarily imaginative and intellectually challenging science fiction, J. G. Ballard centered his short and long fiction on questions of humanity’s mental and physiological relationship with a drastically altered environment, in which change is brought about either by advanced technology or by a global natural disaster.
From the beginning, J. G. Ballard’s short stories demonstrated his preoccupation with the internal landscapes of the mind and humanity’s mental reaction to profound changes in everyday environment. Ballard, however, typically refused to deal with his subject matter in a realist fashion. Instead of presenting “true” psychological conflicts and offering obvious and well-accepted solutions, he often imagined his own mental diseases and has his characters embark on apparently irrational but certainly innovative courses of action. This defiance of the “normal” in the widest sense and this fictional probing of the radically new are crucial aspects of Ballard’s fiction. In turn, his authorial insistence on total imaginative freedom has also led Ballard to write fiction that successfully experiments with style and language. Imbued with the postmodern consciousness, Ballard has been compared with such...
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