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All Quotes by author - J. G. Ballard
" Burroughs called his greatest novel 'Naked Lunch,' by which he meant it's what you see on the end of a fork. Telling the truth. It's very difficult to do that in fiction because the whole process of writing fiction is a process of sidestepping the truth. I think he got very close to it, in his way, and I hope I've done the same in mine. "
" Consumerism is so weird. It's a sort of conspiracy we collude in. You'd think shoppers spending their hard-earned cash would be highly critical. You know that the manufacturers are trying to have you on. "
" Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It's going to be commercial and nasty at the same time. "
" Even one's own home is a kind of anthology of advertisers, manufacturers, motifs and presentation techniques. There's nothing 'natural' about one's home these days. The furnishings, the fabrics, the furniture, the appliances, the TV, and all the electronic equipment - we're living inside commercials. "
" Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century. "
" I believe that if it were possible to scrap the whole of existing literature, all writers would find themselves inevitably producing something very close to SF ... No other form of fiction has the vocabulary of ideas and images to deal with the present, let alone the future. "
" I don't think it's possible to touch people's imagination today by aesthetic means. "
" I had a very mixed kind of childhood reading. I read the childhood classics like 'Robinson Crusoe,' 'Alice in Wonderland,' 'Chums Annual.' At the same time, I read an enormous number of American comics because Shanghai was an American zone of influence. "
" I made a very slatternly mother, notably unkeen on housework, unaware that homes need to be cleaned now and then, and too often to be found with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. "
" In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom. "
" I suspect that many of the great cultural shifts that prepare the way for political change are largely aesthetic. A Buick radiator grille is as much a political statement as a Rolls Royce radiator grille, one enshrining a machine aesthetic driven by a populist optimism, the other enshrining a hierarchical and exclusive social order. "
" I take for granted that for the imaginative writer, the exercise of the imagination is part of the basic process of coping with reality, just as actors need to act all the time to make up for some deficiency in their sense of themselves. "
" I've seen descriptions of advanced TV systems in which a simulation of reality is computer-controlled; the TV viewer of the future will wear a special helmet. You'll no longer be an external spectator to fiction created by others, but an active participant in your own fantasies/dramas. "
" I would love to have been a painter in the tradition of the surrealist painters who I admire so much. "
" I would say that I quite consciously rely on my obsessions in all my work, that I deliberately set up an obsessional frame of mind. In a paradoxical way, this leaves one free of the subject of the obsession. "
" Medicine was certainly intended to be a career. I wanted to become a psychiatrist, an adolescent ambition which, of course, is fulfilled by many psychiatrists. "
" Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed. "
" My room is dominated by the huge painting, which is a copy of 'The Violation' by the Belgian surrealist Paul Delvaux. The original was destroyed during the Blitz in 1940, and I commissioned an artist I know, Brigid Marlin, to make a copy from a photograph. I never stop looking at this painting and its mysterious and beautiful women. "
" Orwell's '1984' convinced me, rightly or wrongly, that Marxism was only a quantum leap away from tyranny. By contrast, Huxley's 'Brave New World' suggested that the totalitarian systems of the future might be subservient and ingratiating. "
" Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute. "
" The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam. "
" The future is going to be boring. The suburbanisation of the planet will continue, and the suburbanisation of the soul will follow soon after. "
" There are some people, who place enormous value on their home and feel that it defines them, that a stain on the carpet is a personal defilement. There are others, and I think I am one of them, who are entirely indifferent to where they live. "
" There were no museums or galleries in Shanghai, but I was very keen on art - I was always sketching and copying, and sometimes I think that my whole career as a writer has been the substitute work of an unfulfilled painter. "
" The surrealists, and the modern movement in painting as a whole, seemed to offer a key to the strange postwar world with its threat of nuclear war. The dislocations and ambiguities, in cubism and abstract art as well as the surrealists, reminded me of my childhood in Shanghai. "
" Writing a novel is one of those modern rites of passage, I think, that lead us from an innocent world of contentment, drunkenness, and good humor, to a state of chronic edginess and the perpetual scanning of bank statements. "
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