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CRASH: Adaptación de un fragmento de la novela de J. Ballard

Author: • Oct 11th, 2014 •

Category: Argentina, Borges, comics, features, Lead Story, speed & violence, visual art

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The Ballardian is proud to present Crash by Argentine graphic artist Sanyú. Crash is a graphic adaptation of a fragment of J.G. Ballard’s novel by that name, originally published in 1991 in the legendary Argentine magazine Fierro (which follows the tradition of publications such as Metal Hurlant and Heavy Metal). Argentina is renowned for producing very good graphic artists, and Sanyú takes his place among them.

The graphic adaptation is in eight parts, each with an English-language translation. Each part consists of three consecutive narratives, arranged in three parallel strips (follow the little arrows at the right-hand side of the page).

Reprinted with the artist’s permission.

CRASH: Adaptación de un fragmento de la novela de J. Ballard
by Sanyú

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Notes on J.G. Ballard’s Relationship to Argentina
by Andres Vaccari

The most obvious and resonant connection between Ballard and the culture of Argentina is the work of Jorge Luis Borges, a writer whom Ballard greatly admired and who can be seen, in some ways, as a precursor to Ballard. This connection becomes evident in Ballard short stories such as Report on an Unidentified Space Station, which plays Borgesian games with time, memory and inner space.


ABOVE: Borges and Ballard, early 70s.

Ballard’s work has had a significant impact in Argentina, firstly through Marcial Souto, who started translating Ballard’s short stories in the early 1970s and ended up translating most of his novels as well during the following decades. Ballard also found his way into the Argentine psyche mainly through the magazine El Pendulo, which focused on publishing translated short works of “literary” science fiction (Aldiss, Silverberg, Le Guin, Wolfe and many others). The magazine had brilliant artwork and design and escaped the trashy, escapist conventions of most US magazines.

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ABOVE: El Pendulo. Image via.

In addition, there are a number of elements in Ballard’s fictions that resonate well with the cultural landscape of Argentina. One of the sources of magical realism (a genre that obliquely intersects with Ballard’s work) is the absurdity and displacement of everyday life in South America. This is why “hard” science fiction authors don’t have an enthusiastic reception in Argentina (technological progress is seen as a thing of the First World) and intellectually adventurous writers are regarded with more respect.

In general, in South America, science fiction was seen as an extension of fantastic literature, and the genre was always regarded in high esteem: as serious literature. Argentina also has a strong tradition of fantastic literature.

In Argentina, finally, Ballard is not considered a writer of science fiction, but a political writer.

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  1. […] Sanyú digs into J.G. Ballard’s classic novel of obsession in eight striking pages of comics. Check it out. Sanyú’s home […]

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