The Atrocity Exhibition Kindle ↠ The Atrocity PDF

10 thoughts on “The Atrocity Exhibition

  1. J.L. Sutton J.L. Sutton says:

    JG Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition is to put it mildly an interesting reading experience Ballard's early and repeated section 'Notes Toward a Mental Breakdown' offers something of a roadmap for the internal landscape presented in this book novel? A barrage of images and twisted versions of reality are thrown at the reader along with casual references to WW3 apocalypse and the erotic Don't look for a narrative thread here Instead think about The Atrocity Exhibit as both an assault and fetishization of American icons Ballard returns again and again to JFK and his assassination as well as figures such as Marilyn Monroe and Ronald Reagan; the book attempts both to simulate events around these figures and tear them down You'll see the genesis of other Ballard works here most notably Crash Going back to the same icons got a little old though Also Ballard's use of the word geometry as in the geometry of aggression murder the human body specific situationsthe list goes on lost a bit of impact because of overuse Still The Atrocity Exhibit was both bizarre and sometimes funny and despite a lack of narrative inventive and usually engaging 375 stars

  2. Cecily Cecily says:

    Impossible to rate or even classify this weird and disturbing book from the late '60s it's not a novel it's not a collection of mini novels it's not even a psychological treatise though it has aspects of all three It explores the links between deathdanger and sexuality his own wife had died suddenly a few years earlier Parts of it will be thought obscene by many It reflects Ballard's interests in psychoanalysis and surrealism the very structure of the book is surreal All of this makes sense after reading his far accessible autobiography Miracles of Life Shanghai to Shepperton is a non linear narrative divided into chapters of which each paragraph is a self contained nugget with its own title In an introduction written than 30 years after first publication Ballard suggests readers scan a chapter for headings that catch their eye and if they find them interesting to move on to nearby ones so maybe one approach is to list a selection of paragraph titles out of seuence?departurejourneys to an interiorsome bloody accidentthe realization of dreamscontours of desirean existential yesthe conceptual deathuestions always uestionshung among the corridors of sleepsoft geometrythe impossible roomthe geometry of her facetransliterated pudendaimaginary perversionsinterlocked bodiesfractured smilethe lost symmetry of the blastosphereMy edition includes Ballard's extensive notes without which much of it would be impenetrable and not just the pop culture references though perhaps it would be less disturbing without themThere's little point trying to describe the story or characters but it does involve one who monitors how subjects react to scenes of car crashes as a proxy for well in addition to his own life and experiences the eucharist of the simulated auto disaster Many other characters explore predilections on the boundariesThere are many mentions of celebrities and events that were significant at the time Marilyn Monroe Elizabeth Taylor assassination of JFK the space race surrealist and pop art artists especially Dali Freud and overall it shows that although Ballard decided not to pursue a career as a psychiatrist he was still very interested in the field Some elements are weirdly prescient whether in a societal sense the banalization of celebrity an instant ready to mix fame as nutritious as packet soup and that the Vietnam war becoming a rich vein for cinema or in his own life and works this was written in '67 published in '69 and in '70 Ballard did actually put on an exhibition of crashed cars in London and in '73 he published Crash which is a conventional novel exploring the same themes The real exhibition provoked strong violent and sometimes strange reactions in ways that the same vehicles on the street outside would not Most bizarrely a model hired to interview visitors whilst she was naked said after seeing the exhibits that she would only do it topless Much of this is challenging and controversial For example saying in the notes that Pornography is a powerful catalyst for social change and its periods of greatest availability have freuently coincided with times of greatest economic and scientific advance but fearing a new puritanism in the 1990s Personally I think it's complicated our society is simultaneously very sexualised eg sexy underwear for pre schoolers and also paranoid about child abuse to the point that the damaging effects of that exaggerated fear may outweigh the risks In the end Ballard sometimes it goes too far for me and I actually stopped reading just over half way through Sexual tastes that I don't share are one thing but rape is referred to several times often with an apologist slant Her strong stride carried within its rhythm a calculated invitation to her own sexuality and although I know there are valid debates about the nature of paedophilia and whether there are grey areas it's not something I choose to explore in any detail

  3. ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ says:

    Disjointed? Yes Psychotic? YesTitillating? OccasionallyInteresting? Of far less interest than could have been expectedA lot of ramblings about car crashes sex Kennedy all kinds of trauma

  4. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    The Atrocity Exhibition is something like a shock therapy – it is painstakingly unpleasant but it makes one react“Now that sex is becoming and a conceptual act an intellectualization divorced from affect and physiology alike one has to bear in mind the positive merits of the sexual perversions” The Atrocity Exhibition is a series of dreamscapes or to be precise madscapes born in the sick mind of the protagonist – the psychiatrist with the split and fragmented identity His visions are fatalistic and gloomily surreal and they are modeled on the paintings by Max Ernst and other surrealists and on Locus Solus the surrealistic novel by Raymond Roussel“Entering the exhibition Travis sees the atrocities of Vietnam and the Congo mimetized in the ‘alternate’ death of Elizabeth Taylor; he tends the dying film star eroticizing her punctured bronchus in the over ventilated verandas of the London Hilton; he dreams of Max Ernst superior of the birds; ‘Europe after the Rain’; the human race – Caliban asleep across a mirror smeared with vomit”Sex violence death and mass culture become protagonist’s obsessions He dreams of the World War III and envisions an atomic bomb explosion as the ultimate ejaculation“Has a festival of atrocity films ever been held? Every year at the Oscars ceremony some might say”Violence sex and kitsch are the stuff our madness is made of

  5. Rhys Rhys says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book as I do about all of Ballard's fictions Ballard is brilliant no doubt about that he possesses one of the clearest prose styles of any writer a style not just clear but unexpectedly ecstatic in a glacial sort of way Some of his short stories are among the finest ever written His collection Vermilion Sands in particular is absolutely one of the highest points of the form As for his novels they can be astoundingly original but also too obsessiveThe Atrocity Exhibition is an experimental novel but it reads like a collection of very strange and bewildering though certainly powerful and affecting linked stories except that the stories aren't really linked in a normal sense they are like echoes amplified feedback psychotic recursions of each other This book certainly improves near the end The last uarter is the best the satire becomes easy to comprehend despite its excessive savageryThe main problem I have with The Atrocity Exhibition is that I simply don't agree with many of Ballard's beliefs that inform the book Or rather he makes some truly excellent and pertinent points but often overstates them I just don't accept the 'death of affect' for instance nor that science has become the ultimate pornography nor that pornography is necessarily a powerful catalyst for social change etc And Ballard's obsessions can become too intrusive in a way that isn't good Ballard claims to be an early warning system for the breakdown of 'normality' but he often acts like its salesmanHaving said that he's a genius one of the best living writers in the world and I'm delighted that I've finally read his 'difficult' cult book the one that inspired so many of his best later works including the novel Crash

  6. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    The Atrocity Exhibition is a really a long poem like The Waste Land or Four uartets This is why it's very easy to reconfigure the text as poetryThe lost gills of the dying film actressThe pilot watches him from the roof of a lion houseThe familiar geometry of the transfigured pudendaOn the way to a terminal zoneA fading harmonic fractured smile spread across the windscreenThe wig amongst the beer bottlesAnd you coma marilyn MonroeYou coma Marilyn MonroeO techniue of decalcomania O subvocal rosary The persistence of the beach the assumption of the sand duneArabesues planes of yantraDo you lip read? she asked in the yes or no of the borderzoneThe act of intercourse is always a model for something else –Don't you think?I am the Five Hundred Foot Christ of Salvador DaliIn the darkness the halffilled reservoirs reflect the starlightIn the night air concrete towers blockhouses half buried in rubble of disasters giant conduits filled with tyresHelicopters like air spiders

  7. Fede Fede says:

    The 60s according to Ballard a world of mayhem and violence in all their possible shapes and manifestations from deranged science to the pornographic use of catastrophes by tabloids and TV in a surreal atmosphere of stillness and extreme acceleration at the same time This is not a novel it's a scrapbook made of pictures from weekly magazines and anatomy manuals mathematic euations and visual art cryptic references The text is a series of short paragraphs with apparently ? unrelated titles snapshots that can also be read at random like Burroughs' cut ups; no plot nor chronological order since it's up to the reader to decide whether to read it normally or just leaf through the pages This literary anomaly is far from being a wanton meaningless collection of vignettes though The Atrocity Exhibition is a profound book in which a man's fragmented self explores the post modern era of Hollywood stars art icons Pop celebs and Congo massacres WW3 yes bomber pilots pornography the ultimate form of scientific exploration of the human bodyThe main character's several identities set off in search of a meaning a journey through the chaotic orgy of madness and violence taking place all around him and us at any given moment All we vaguely know is that our man is a doctor possibly a psychiatrist or a neurologist Then his psyche haunted by the daily 'atrocity exhibition' of our era and struggling to make sense of it all degenerates into a shapeshifting conundrum of identities he becomes a crashed bomber pilot a psychopath a sex maniac an insane scientist roaming the streets of post atomic landscapes scattered with wrecked vehicles deserted shooting ranges ambiguous medical labs suburban crash test areas; not to mention the obsessive literally hovering images of celebrities Marilyn Monroe disfigured by radioactivity bruises Albert Camus Harvey Lee Oswald Brigitte Bardot Jacueline Kennedy Ralph Nadar are all actors in the same atrocity newsreel atrocious exhibits in the frightening museum of our timeBallard's world is a geography of rusty crashed cars half burned helicopters beaches lost in space and time like a no man's land of hominous silence and stillness The great icons of Surrealism provide the writer with a huge amount of visual inspiration in fact he explicitly refers to the art of Dalí Dominguez Tanguy Erst Matta all throughout the book This is indeed a very graphic but also extremely cryptic work to say the least One is often reuired to stop reading and check out some of the numberless references to art science or current political affairs Ballard started to write this in the late 60s; but it's definitely worth the effort The Atrocity Exhibition is an enigma to be deciphered A medieval mystery of the atomic era Although being one of his first books this unclassifiable anti novel is nonetheless the fulfilment of Ballard's recurrent themes The physicalmental connection between traumatic experiences and eroticism the inhuman attitude of the Modern Scientist the perverse fascination with violent death war newsreels are compared to porn movies by Ballard's psychiatrists such controversial issues will be further analysed in a long series of novels to come eg Crash High Rise Rushing to Paradise I therefore recommend those readers who are still unauainted with Ballard to start with this absolute masterpiece without being afraid of its reputation It is neither incomprehensible nor meaningless just let yourself go and delve into it Believe me you'll feel at home

  8. Meredith Meredith says:

    Reading this was like being trapped in a doctor's waiting room and repeatedly bashed in the back of the head with a cast iron frying pan Not plot driven not character driven just a series of graphic montages that just get weirder as the book goes on At no time during this read could I have explained what was going on and I was bored silly throughout with a lot of WTF did I just read moments I think the author might have been intended the book to be funny Perhaps you are not supposed to think about plot but just let the nasty imagery float across your brain Given that the author was a survivor of the Japanese invasion of Shanghai and was writing this book at the end of the sixties after its decade of tragic celebrity deaths political assassinations collapsing Apollo program unsavoury sexual revolution and the Vietnam War on the TV every daythen perhaps the cramped dark nature of this horribly dated book is understandable if not palatable

  9. Nate D Nate D says:

    Not exactly a novel Ballard may have written involving narratives than this 1970 present dystopia of modernity in meltdown but it's unlikely that he has ever surpassed its severe and unsettling perfection of form and function diamond hard brilliant and single mindedly focused While each unit could function as a story and they were originally published as such in the late 60s there's also a total cohesion here that makes it than a collection into some kind of shambling and uniue hybrid formIn content The Atrocity Exhibition is a series of iterative interlocked reconfigurations of certain inescapable elements of the modern experience Sex and death; celebrity thermonuclear war and auto accidents; architecture advertising mass media traumas physical and psychological Depersonalized fragmented and utterly haunting I've heard it said somewhere on GR that Ballard was a great writer without being a good writer which may have been true in places but not here the writing is perfectly true to its subject immaculately shaped into a precision instrument of dissectionScientific reports on the psychosexual resonance of then Governor Reagan's media presence superpositions of dead celebrities over motorways and vacant airstrips war footage collaged in abandoned theaters conceptually enacted murders seeking closure to various national scale ruptures And not to mention that the personal can not help but invade these large scale concerns it was also Ballard's attempt to work through the untimely death of his first wifeI've got this in the amazing 1990 RESearch edition an unsettling large format juxtaposition of a newly ballard annotated text against deftly detourned medical illustration and photographs of modern architecture Likely the perfect form of an edifice of deconstructed experience of the 20th century

  10. Edward Edward says:

    Although The Atrocity Exhibition is indeed innovative in its nonlinear associative structure and ambitious in its sweeping satire of popular culture it's difficult for me to interpret the novel as anything other than a prototype for Crash which is surely the mature and complete realisation of the ideas and themes which Ballard first presents here Most notably absent in these impulsive impressionistic sketches are the cohesiveness of the later novel's vision it's immediacy the earnest poetry of its prose and its relentless focus all of which serve to underline the patent absurdity of its depictions of violent sexuality and in turn that of the culture it seeks to ridicule By contrast The Atrocity Exhibition's intuitive scattershot approach hits broadly though with far less force Its obscenity fails to be shocking or powerful it is merely obscene

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The Atrocity Exhibition [PDF] ✎ The Atrocity Exhibition Author J.G. Ballard – The irrational all pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de forceThe central character’s dreams are haunted by images of John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe The irrational all pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de forceThe central character’s dreams are haunted by images of John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe dead astronauts and car crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown Seeking his sanity he casts himself in a number of roles H bomber pilot presidential assassin crash victim psychopath Finally through the black perverse magic of The Atrocity PDF or violence he transcends his psychic turmoil to find the key to a bizarre new sexualityIn this revised edition Ballard has added extensive annotation that help to unlock many of the mysteries of one of the most prophetic enigmatic and original works of the late twentieth centuryThis edition is part of a new commemorative series of Ballard’s works featuring introductions from a number of his admirers including Neil Gaiman Iain Sinclair James Lever and Ali Smith and brand new cover designs.