Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Well, you were not kidding when you said this book was disturbing. The images Ballard throws at the reader are skidding into oncoming traffic. Reading the book, to me, was like driving up on an accident..I just had to look!! The most upsetting images to me were the ones where sexual acts, upon kids, were being described. Those I skipped over..and then came back after few hours..and pages later. The other images, after awhile, reminded me of every print ad I have seen for either a car; fender here, radio there..or some item that uses a woman in the advertisement; when pieces of her are splashed all over the add..face here, leg there..and it has nothing to do with the product. All the scenes in the book became dismembered. Nothing human about any of the sexual acts, of the people involved, nothing recognizable about the vehicle. It seemed to me that technology was tearing everything up and throwing it back together..pieces falling where they may..and see what form takes place.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

I like what you have to say about technology tearing up the construct of the world and reconstructing it in a warped or at least very different way. It would seem that at some point, to some extent, this is exactly what people come to expect. Normality and consistency become boring, perhaps not even because they have been experienced in reality, but TV (or other forms akin to it) have experienced them for you. Sex is boring for a virgin because they have already experienced it in a movie, so why not try masochistic sex or at least a sex act in the back of a car? Pain means nothing, since one's favorite movie stars have been blown apart and ripped to shreds, so why not run your car headlong into a brick wall? Disfigurement becomes the new beauty in an eerie "Twilight Zone" sort of way. What interested me the most however was the question of after all is said and done, what exactly is real? Do such grotesque sex acts really count as sex, and what becomes of the meaning for love? (Assuming it even exists anymore) What does pain mean in this new construct of reality? On page 134, one interpretation is "a new currency of pain and desire" (Ballard 134). Frightening to think that the more warped one becomes, the more one ultimately gains in terms of pleasure and excitement in light of stale normality.

This is of course only one interpretation which Ballard gives of the effects of technology in relation to our pursuit of pleasure, but the image of our very reality being torn up and haphazardly reconstructed is instead a stark one.