the absurd answer

The middle class was the new proletariat, the victims of a centuries-old conspiracy, at last throwing off the chains of duty and civic responsibility.

For once, the absurd answer was probably the right one.

J.G.Ballard, Millennium People

i'd always found Ballard's premises brilliant, but somehow, inexplicaply, never felt a demand from any of his books to be read. not Concrete Island, not High Rise, not The Drowned World or Vermillion Sands or The Terminal Beach; not this book's predecessors, not even Empire of the Sun or Crash. but this middle class rebellion, this compellingly relevant if equally absurd anarchy, this comically tragic (or tragically comic) form of terrorism...how can i say no?


JP said...

What have you read by Ballard? I read several in college - The Drowned World, The Crystal World and The Burning World - his trilogy of what I like to call fractal dystopias, and Crash - very scary and po-mo, if anything is (don't ask me to define postmodernism though) and High Rise which actively scared me, apartment dweller that I am.

I really ought to round out my exposure to his bibliog (as also Brian Aldiss' a writer he is often lumped with but not more than broadly like)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

that’s the thing: not one. like i said, i find his premises brilliant, but reading a page or two of each of his books in a bookshop -- say, Myths of the Future, The Drowned World, Day of Creation, Concrete Island, High Rise, heck, even Crash -- just never compelled me to take them out of the shop and finish reading them.

Millennium People though, which by comparison to any one of those seems to have a relatively sober, even bland premise, grabbed me from the get-go.