J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience.
J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions.
Although the Ballard estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do so can readily visit the British Library and view the notebooks in their entirety in the freely-accessible manuscripts collection there.
“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.
Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...
Die wandernden Schatten
Reportagen, Fiktionen, Wirklichkeiten der Hauptstadt des 20. Jahrhunderts
I’m standing in my perfectly fitting uniform with its freshly-pressed swastika armband in a long line at an American office. I’m waiting to submit my Application for Total War. Then, after standing in line for hours, the friendly clerk tells me that I need The Application for Foreign Aggressions in the next office over. Since I’m a depressed fascist, I don’t keep my chin up for long—despite my spiffy brown uniform—so I decide that’s enough for today and to try again tomorrow. The very next morning, I’m valiantly standing in the correct line, but then I’m missing some paperwork for the correct submission of my Application for Total War. Besides a birth certificate (the original, no copies allowed!), I’m still missing two recommendation letters from American citizens. Five are necessary. But—I thought just three… No, five in total! With a smile, the clerk raises her right hand, her fingers spread...
Ξένος extraneus του έξω όχι του μέσα (intraneus) όχι της οικίας unheimlich όχι του heim όχι της εστίας της άλλης πλευράς της πόρτας – fores, foreigner όχι υπερβολικά στον ρυθμό, odd όχι κανονικός όχι συνήθης σπάνιος ιδιάζων seltsam παράξενος besherat γενναίος κομψός απρόβλεπτος στραβός verschroben
λοξός αναπάντεχος εξαιρετικός εκπληκτικός
Είναι εκπληκτικό πόσες λέξεις εκφράσεις τρόπους διαφορετικούς έχουμε για να μιλήσουμε για τον παράξενο ξένο τον ausländer τον έξω από τη χώρα και όχι «pays avec nous» όπως λέγαμε κάποτε στη Γαλλία «c’est un pays à moi» για να πούμε κάποιος από το χωριό μου τη γειτονιά μου την περιοχή μου την πατρίδα μου