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Applied Ballardianism on FormspringAuthor: Simon Sellars • Jan 6th, 2011 •
After researching it for most of 2010, I am currently deep into the process of writing my book Applied Ballardianism: the Philosophy of J.G. Ballard, due for publication by Zer0 Books in 2012. To promote this project, I am now on Formspring, where you can ask me anything about it, or indeed anything Ballard related. Some time soon, I’ll be setting up a dedicated website for the book, which will contain early drafts and other related experiments of a sonic/visual nature.
The following is an early draft of a blurb I wrote for the book. The focus and wording of this synopsis will invariably change as the writing progresses.
Applied Ballardianism: the Philosophy of J.G. Ballard
Simon Sellars, Zer0 Books, 2012.
Mainstream media today is filled with pop philosophers bemoaning the relentless superficiality of the 21st century. These incantations signify a renewed crisis of representation: mediated by technology, rooted in psychopathology, leaking into the social realm, and anticipated, and conquered, long ago by J.G. Ballard. Indeed, the term ‘Ballardian’ is now in the Collins English Dictionary, testament to his mapping of our peculiar times. But this glossy shorthand conceals more than it states. Is Ballard’s writing really dystopian, as the dictionary would have it, or necessarily bleak? Decoding pirate transmissions emanating from his work, Simon Sellars tracks the Ballardian signal in an override sequence designed to avoid the tractor beam of simple biography or literary theory. Focusing on Ballard’s ‘affirmative dystopias’, Sellars unearths designs for urban living that transform the mortal shock of the new into radical fulfillment. Referring to film, music, literature, theory, art and architecture, and the sociocultural flashpoints found in late capitalism’s suburban warzones, Sellars charts Ballard’s ongoing influence and the phenomenon of the evergrowing ‘Ballardosphere’.
The result is irrefutable confirmation of J.G. Ballard as not only a major novelist but a major philosopher for today.
Newer: Flaunting Conventions: Paolozzi, Ballard and Bax »