It wasn’t until the publication of his novel, Empire of the Sun – and its subsequent adaptation to film by Stephen Spielberg – that the literary world started to take notice of J.G. Ballard.
Prior to that, he’d been erroneously regarded as a science fiction author – therefore not a “serious” writer. Either that, or he was labeled “pulp author with a cult following” – and therefore not a “serious” writer. Ballard has, however, always been a serious writer. Prophetic too.
Of course, now that Ballard writes novels that appear to be more “naturalistic” than they were prior to Empire of the Sun, the literary establishment regularly lauds him. “The science fiction writer who came in from the cold,” was how one critic described him. Despite this change in the attitude of critics, there is no discernible change in Ballard’s modus operandi; his fiction is still concerned with the themes it’s always been concerned with; Ballard’s subject matter is still uniquely his own – and he still writes about what he knows best – enclosed space. Read more…
J G Ballard and the Fiction of Enclosed Space
Copyright © R J Dent (2009)
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