Sunday, April 19, 2009

RIP J.G. Ballard

Spring fever has struck and I've been away from my post, and active with the baby, these past few days. I hate to resume on a down note but I regret to note the passing of the British novelist, best known for the disturbing Crash and the autobiographical Empire of the Sun--two very different works united by a watchful and intensely engaged prose style that encompassed the modes he worked in with seeming ease. (A Scottish friend loaned me a copy of Ballard's cheeky Hello America, hoping to get a rise out of me, but what I got, besides the satire, was the usual lift I experienced whenever I explored "Ballardian" dystopias). He also contributed the story to the 1970 Hammer picture When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth--not a credit high on his resume, but the kind of thing a fan remembers.

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