A list of remembrances of writers who passed in the 00s, by other writers, including one of David Foster Wallace by George Saunders, plus JG Ballard, Susan Sontag, Grace Paley, W.G. Sebald, many others, at the Guardian.
An Exclusive Interview with J.G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard Interview by John Hughes
The following interview with J.G. Ballard took place in the spring of 1996. It was recorded on to micro-cassette off speakerphone on a 6 a.m. call from the 4AD Records office in Los Angeles, CA to J.G. Ballard at his home in Shepperton, England. The tapes were transcribed in New York in 2005.
I contacted J.G. Ballard through a friend at Zone books. Zone had recently published a Ballard essay; an experimental dictionary of words for the future. I got his home number and called him to set up the interview below. The original plan was to discuss Rushing to Paradise. The interview opens, however, with the revelation that David Cronenberg was planning to release Crash at the Cannes Film Festival, summer’96.
In that respect, the interview has two parts. The first addresses the Crash movie release and the second, Rushing to Paradise.
April 30th, 2009 / 2:47 pm
R.I.P. J.G. Ballard
The author JG Ballard, famed for novels such as Crash and Empire of the Sun, has died aged 78 after a long illness.
His agent Margaret Hanbury said the author had been ill “for several years” and had died on Sunday morning.
Despite being referred to as a science fiction writer, Jim Ballard said his books were instead “picturing the psychology of the future”.
The Ballard stories I always think of whenever I hear his name are “The Enormous Space,” “Report on an Unidentified Space Station,” and “War Fever,” all of which are included in the collection pictured above. The first two stories I studied as an undergraduate, not in a creative writing class but in a literature course called “Eccentric Spaces and Spacialities.” Not “space” as in “outer space,” but as in “the distance between here and there, or “the place I call home,” etc. We read Ballard alongside Gaston Bachelard (Poetics of Space), Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping), excerpts from Dante and Homer (descents into Hades), Jules Verne (Journey to the Center of the Earth) and plenty more that I’m forgetting just now. The third story, “War Fever,” was on my radar when I was editing The Apocalypse Reader, but my query about reprint rights wasn’t returned by FSG until well after the book had been finalized, and sent to press. But it’s a magnificent story–they all are.
April 19th, 2009 / 5:03 pm