J. G. Ballard

To my child's eyes, which had seen nothing else, Shanghai was a waking dream where everything I could imagine had already been taken to its extreme.J. G. Ballard

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Most English writers are not interested in change but in the social novel. That demands a static backdrop. I'm intensely interested in change - probably as a matter of self-preservation. What the hell is going to happen next?J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Change, Hell, Matter

I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic. A Buick radiator grille is as much a political statement as a Rolls Royce radiator grille, one enshrining a machine aesthetic driven by a populist optimism, the other enshrining a hierarchical and exclusive social order.J. G. Ballard

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The Enlightenment view of mankind is a complete myth. It leads us into thinking we're sane and rational creatures most of the time, and we're not.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Time, Thinking, View

People think that by living on some mountainside in a tent and being frozen to death by freezing rain, they're somehow discovering reality, but of course that's just another fiction dreamed up by a TV producer.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Death, Rain, Reality

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

0 likes view quote Women, Beautiful, Looking

Orwell's '1984' convinced me, rightly or wrongly, that Marxism was only a quantum leap away from tyranny. By contrast, Huxley's 'Brave New World' suggested that the totalitarian systems of the future might be subservient and ingratiating.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Future, World, Brave

I believe that if it were possible to scrap the whole of existing literature, all writers would find themselves inevitably producing something very close to SF ... No other form of fiction has the vocabulary of ideas and images to deal with the present, let alone the future.J. G. Ballard

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The surrealists, and the modern movement in painting as a whole, seemed to offer a key to the strange postwar world with its threat of nuclear war. The dislocations and ambiguities, in cubism and abstract art as well as the surrealists, reminded me of my childhood in Shanghai.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Art, War, Childhood

Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Dreams, Power, Memories

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

0 likes view quote Technology, Science, Speak

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

0 likes view quote People, Achieve, Head

Even one's own home is a kind of anthology of advertisers, manufacturers, motifs and presentation techniques. There's nothing 'natural' about one's home these days. The furnishings, the fabrics, the furniture, the appliances, the TV, and all the electronic equipment - we're living inside commercials.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Home, Living, Furniture

The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Dreams, Car, American Dream

Most writers flinch at the thought of being completely honest about themselves. So absolute honesty is what marks the true modern.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Honesty, Thought, Honest

I felt the pressure of imagination against the doors of my mind was so great that they were going to burst.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Great, Imagination, Mind

I've seen descriptions of advanced TV systems in which a simulation of reality is computer-controlled; the TV viewer of the future will wear a special helmet. You'll no longer be an external spectator to fiction created by others, but an active participant in your own fantasies/dramas.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Future, Reality, You

In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Freedom, World, Madness

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

0 likes view quote Myself, School, You

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

0 likes view quote Future, Fear, Soul

Presumably all obsessions are extreme metaphors waiting to be born. That whole private mythology, in which I believe totally, is a collaboration between one's conscious mind and those obsessions that, one by one, present themselves as stepping-stones.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Collaboration, Waiting, Mind

In March 1943, my parents, four-year-old sister and I were interned with other foreign civilians at Lunghua camp, a former teacher training college outside Shanghai, where we remained until the end of August 1945.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Teacher, Sister, Training

My father worked, and my mother played bridge. Every time I went out of the house, I was chauffeur-driven with my nanny next to me to stop me being kidnapped.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Time, Mother, Father

I made a very slatternly mother, notably unkeen on housework, unaware that homes need to be cleaned now and then, and too often to be found with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other.J. G. Ballard

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Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it.J. G. Ballard

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I don't think it's possible to touch people's imagination today by aesthetic means.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Today, Imagination, People

Medicine was certainly intended to be a career. I wanted to become a psychiatrist, an adolescent ambition which, of course, is fulfilled by many psychiatrists.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Ambition, Medicine, Career

I was in Shanghai when the Japanese invaded China. I was there in Shanghai when, the morning after Pearl Harbor, they seized Shanghai.J. G. Ballard

0 likes view quote Morning, China, Pearl Harbor

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

0 likes view quote Poetry, Honesty, Movement

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

0 likes view quote Social, Middle-Class, Them
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