“The brief span of an individual life is misleading. Each one of us is as old as the entire biological kingdom, and our bloodstreams are tributaries of the great sea of its total memory.”
At times, I read up on books while reading them, and this time my explorations of other reviews significantly colored my reading, in particular the review of BlackOxford on Goodreads.
In that review, BlackOxford develops a mostly symbolic reading of the text that accuses Ballard of racism. The arguments are interesting, but the reading might be reductive. On the other hand, Ballard seems to encourage this interpretative method of searching for latent symbolism.
Before I will add my two cents to the debate – and I’ll keep it short – let me do the non-political part of the review. Continue reading
This collection of short fiction is my first exposure to James Graham Ballard – best known for diverse books as the controversial fetish exploration Crash, the autobiographical war novel Empire Of The Sun and the post-apocaloptic early clifi classic The Drowned World.
Some of the stories featured are published in other collections, and there are slightly different editions of this collection too – from 1984 onward under a different title, The Voices Of Time. But there’s also a slightly earlier collection that has a very similar title, The Voices Of Time And Other Stories, with an overlap of 3 stories with The Four-Dimensional Nightmare / The Voices Of Time.
I try to shed light on all that in a bit more detail at the end of this review, with an advice about which edition you should get.
First things first: my thoughts on the individual stories in this early collection of J.G. Ballard.