The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

J.G. Ballard Dead at 78

We deeply regret having to report that J. G. Ballard, the renowned British writer and master of dystopian fiction, has left this earth at age 78.

Further reading:
Simon Sellars at Ballardian
The Times Obit
The Guardian Obit
The Telegraph Obit


Vanwall said...

Boy, that's tough. He was truly a man of letters.

swac said...

Last night, CBC Radio current affairs program As It Happens ran a half-hour radio drama by Ballard titled The Dead Astronaut, from 1973.

Here's a link to the podcast page.

Kreisler said...

Ballard was head and shoulders above the competition in the UK. Miracles of Life is a superb memoir. Crash is the only book I've physically winced at whilst reading. In my opinion The Kindness of Women is his most underrated book and Empire of the Sun, although atypical, is his best.

Richard Gibson said...

I heard this story on the radio this morning, quite interesting.

Robert Fiore said...

James Fallows of the Atlantic posts some pictures of the house in Shanghai where the Ballards lived before the war as it appears now, including the attic young Jim used to play in:

It's now a fancy restaurant.