Mmm...Bunkers

Here's an lovely set of bunker photos for your delectation...

"Walking along the beach some years ago, I noticed a dark structure emerging from the mist ahead of me," J.G. Ballard writes. "Three storeys high, and larger than a parish church, it was one of the huge blockhouses that formed Hitler's Atlantic wall, the chain of fortifications that ran from the French coast all the way to Denmark and Norway. This blockhouse, as indifferent to time as the pyramids, was a mass of black concrete once poured by the slave labourers of the Todt Organisation, pockmarked by the shellfire of the attacking allied warships."

"These bunkers were part of a system of German fortifications that included the Siegfried line, submarine pens and huge flak towers that threatened the surrounding land like lines of Teutonic knights. Almost all had survived the war and seemed to be waiting for the next one, left behind by a race of warrior scientists obsessed with geometry and death."


9 comments:

Gaw said...

Brilliant Ballard. The pairing of geometry and death is perfect.

worm said...

after your blog post inspired me, I've just embarked on a quick Ballard refresher course, via his book Super-Cannes, enjoying it loads already! So, thanks for the nudge!

I quite like the whole 'Nazi death cult' topic, might have to read up on it and post more here....

Gaw said...

I'm a fan but I do think his novels are a bit too similar in theme. I mentioned it here (which I don't think you would have read as it's from a long time ago).

worm said...

you're right that post of yours must have been from the days before my Ragbag addiction! and I agree - Ballard certainly found a theme and then stuck to it!!! But it is a great theme...

Gadjo Dilo said...

I must get around to reading some Ballard, been on my to-do list for a while now. I used to like bunkers, thinking they were rather splendid in their utilitarianess, but in my naivety I always that because they were defences, they were, err, the good guys.

Brit said...

I didn't enjoy Super-Cannes. There's something unclean about a lot of Ballard's books, they make you feel ill.

worm said...

I like the queasy though Brit! Cronenberg films, Terry Richardson photos, Peter Doig colours....flashy, trashy and dark!

worm said...

the british pill-box is indeed a friendly little chap Gadjo, but these german contraptions are nasty bruisers

Gaw said...

For what it's worth, I think the Kindness of Women is Ballard's strongest and one of the best novels ever. I think this is because it originates in memoir rather than a thesis, unlike most of his novels, and so reads much more like life.

BTW Gadjo, I'm really enjoying Rezzori. 'Youth' (the second story) is stunning.