Zwischen den Flüssen
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.
– In what way are you a communist – since we need to define this: someone who is convinced that a totally different form of organization of communal life would be good for the human race, –
– Isn’t that equally true of monarchists and leaders of sects?
– ...with a focus on justice.
– but the people should behave differently, right?
– They should be totally different.
– Are you not simply a misanthropist?
– No, because there are people that I like, very much even. And I understand all the less why most people feel compelled to be so nasty.
– Most people don’t seem to be quite as bothered by this as you are.
– Oh really? In my perception, most people are pretty bothered by anything that is different than themselves. That is why we need rules that define how to behave toward people we can’t stand.
– You have just been suffering in a...
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...
The index calculates everything. Announcements of awards, mostly false, light up then die. His dopamine balance feeds the list. Limbic structures support it. Brain means house, should have windows.
Asleep, Patrick sees what he doesn’t believe while he’s awake.
The index calculates everything. Announcements of awards, mostly false, light up then die. His dopamine balance feeds the list. Limbic structures support it. Brain means house, should have windows. But they’re slow shutter pictures of the past.
Five minutes past four, Patrick is woken up by a noise. He’s lying in the small room. Renate is sleeping in the big one.
“Maybe I’ll get an idea during the night,” he had justified his move to the couch, “Then I’ll have to send it to them. We’re sending the thing off tomorrow.” He was afraid of saying what he knew about Kerstin in his sleep, while lying next to Renate. In the darkness he feels the room buzzing at him. His brain answers the hum, singing sugar and protein, talking perineural network that controls the form and function of the synapses which guide all...