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J. G. Ballard$
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D. Harlan Wilson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041433

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041433.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 January 2020

Disaster Areas

Disaster Areas

The Natural Disaster Quartet

Chapter:
(p.51) Chapter 3 Disaster Areas
Source:
J. G. Ballard
Author(s):

D. Harlan Wilson

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252041433.003.0004

The texts under consideration in this chapter include Ballard’s first four novels, all of which involve different types of global cataclysms and fall into the apocalyptic subgenre of SF: The Wind from Nowhere, The Drowned World, The Drought and The Crystal World. The latter three are inner-spatial narratives that center on one man’s terrestrial and psychological journey through a dystopian “landscape of decline and desire”; all three protagonists are “becoming-Adams” who seek transcendence by navigating their respective new Edens, “gardens of ruin” that hold the promise of demolition and re-birth. Wind, on the other hand, is a “cozy catastrophe” full of clichés that Ballard wrote to jumpstart his career, although it is much better than some critics (and Ballard himself) have given it credit for.

Keywords:   cataclysm, apocalyptic, subgenre, SF, psychological, dystopia, landscape, Eden, catastrophe, cliché

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