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Another Atrocity: A 'New' Work by J.G. Ballard

Author: • Feb 17th, 2006 •

Category: Borges, features, medical procedure, pastiche

Ballardian: Another Atrocity

The Atrocity Exhibition is a collection of J.G. Ballard’s most extraordinary short stories. Written in the few years following the tragic death of his wife, they are his most difficult work, representing the extremes of anguish, desire, alienation and horror. Compact and repetitive, they pick over the same questions of psychopathology, sexuality and death in paragraph after paragraph.

In this ‘new work’, Another Atrocity, each paragraph has a heading which may or may not relate to its contents. As the original work is already ‘cut-up’ in some sense, I felt it would be perfect for my electronic cut-up technique, in which each heading and sentence is chosen at random from the complete text.

In doing this, I was also reminded of Borges’ ‘Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote’, in which a modern writer becomes so immersed in Cervantes’ work that he is able to ‘re-write’ it, word-for-word. This is also an attempted ‘recreation’ of Ballard’s work by reproducing it.

I felt the addition of one of Versalius’ brilliant etchings of a dissected man complemented the biomorphic horror of the text, and also reflects Ballard’s (and my own) formative experience in the dissecting room.

And now it is complete, with every click on the refresh button, a unique page of Ballard’s Another Atrocity is created!

>>> Click here for access.

— Mike Bonsall

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