More Bloomin' Ballard

Bit of a Ballard round-up of sorts - turns out there's a Ballard themed 'Crash' exhibition on at the Gagosian Gallery in Bloomsbury. The Guardian has pictures here.

I finished reading Ballard's book Super-Cannes the other day, It started out, as all his books do, with an excellent (if well worn) premise. The story chuntered on for a while in an interesting fashion, but I found myself worrying whether he was going to end the book in the gob-smackingly obvious way I was foreseeing...aaaand of course he did, and I was left seriously underwhelmed and generally suspicious of his authorly skills!

One thought I did have whilst reading the book though, and one that I guess is contentious - is that if one looks at Ballards work, it mostly deals with a riff on the way that he believes that humans have an inbuilt propensity to strive for perfection, whilst also having an inbuilt propensity for boredom and dissatisfaction, and both sides of human nature increase exponentially until a society progresses to a point that comes close to 'perfection'. Once this future point is reached, the society will smash itself.

My (probably unoriginal) thought was:

Could the First World War be seen as a 'Ballardian' response of the european moneyed classes to the perfect inertia of late victorian/edwardian society?


Gadjo Dilo said...

Hmm, interesting thesis. The Japanese often seem to me the most perfection-seeking nation, and Ballard certainly knows a bit about them.