The Drought Mobi ☆ 192 pages Download õ Naturaltreatment

Doc ☆ The Drought ↠ J.G. Ballard

Weird and mesmerizingly grotesue The Drought tells the chilling story of the world on the brink of extinctio Should I be worried that I feel at home in Ballard’s world The Drought is the fourth of Ballard’s books that I have read The others are The Drowned World Concrete Island and High Rise I’m drawn to his themes of isolation and alienation His association of inner world and outer world And his misfit characters It is especially the misfit characters that make The Drought feel like homeThe protagonists of all four novels are estranged from the world around them When the world around them changes it offers them the opportunity to withdraw further into themselves This is the reason they feel at home in their new worlds And this happens not despite the disasters but because of them In The Drought Ransom moves into a houseboat on the river to escape his marriage and career Here among “ the people living on the margins of the channel” 22 he finally feels at home These are his people These marginal people Stragglers and lingerers Solipsists and solitaries Outcasts and castaways There are parallels between the characters in The Drought and the characters from the other novels I have read The greatest resemblance is between The Drought and Concrete Island Ransom Catherine and uilter might even be the prototype for Maitland Jane and ProctorOne of the strengths of Concrete Island is the dynamic between the trio of characters But The Drought has many characters Ransom Catherine and uilter are not a trio Philip Jordan exists as the antithesis of uilter Lomax and Miranda add another component to the story High Rise like The Drought has a larger cast of characters but its plot still concerns a trio—Laing Wilder and Royal—representing the three social classes Ransom uilter and Lomax might be the prototype for this hierarchical structure Both Lomax and Royal are wealthy architects Ransom and Laing are middle class physicians And uilter and Wilder are wild cards from the lowest economic classI believe the characters in The Drought have been refined and recombined in Ballard’s later novels But here in The Drought they are an odd assortment of individuals living on the margins of society And they are all truly individuals for even when they are together they are solitary beings These are the people who stay behind as the river dries up and everyone else evacuates to the seashore There is Catherine the zoo curator’s daughter “ remote sister of the lions” 28 And the zookeeper Whitman a man who nurses “ a wild misanthropic hope” 68 While Catherine is only truly at home with her lions she can get along with people But Whitman is completely estranged from society He has nothing but contempt for people He could easily add to his namesake’s litany of complaints against the human species“ I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals they are so placid and self contained” Leaves of Grass 1855There is the idiot uilter at home amid the stench and mud of the dying river with its dead birds and fish rotting under the sun And the antithesis of uilter the Ariel to uilter’s Caliban Philip Jordan the character most closely identified with the river “ part waif and part water elf” 33Lomax and Miranda do not seem to fit into their environment as naturally as Catherine and Whitman uilter and Philip Jordan yet they too are singular members of this community of misfits The foppish Lomax and his witch like sister live in a luxurious mansion yet despite their wealth they are not part of ordinary society They are as marginal as the river people After their servants flee to the sea with the rest of the population it is uilter and Whitman who service their needs and their propertyThen there are the minor characters Captain Tulloch who will man his steamer to the very end Mrs uilter fanning herself on the houseboat given to her as charity by Lomax And Jonas the obsessed ship’s caption “ like a desert Ahab hunting for his white sea” 200In The Drowned World Ballard’s language suits his landscape perfectly It is profuse teeming with metaphor lush in description This is the novel’s strength for the story goes downhill in the second half In contrast the language of The Drought is self conscious The metaphors and literary references are all over the place Is this The Tempest with Lomax as “ a demented Prospero” 208 His sister or daughter or whatever she is Miranda lusted after by the “ Caliban like” 21 uilter While Philip Jordan serves as “ the calm eyed Ariel of the river” 89 90 Or is Miranda “ an imbecile Ophelia” 103 Is Lomax Mephistopheles” 64Is this The Odyssey The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Moby Dick The mixture is chaotic But it is not without a unifying theme These are seafaring tales Tales of “ Ulysses” 34 and “ Sinbad” 205 Of the Ancient Mariner and his “ albatross” 35 Of the castaways Prospero and Miranda And most of all of Jonah The Reverend Johnstone sermonizes on Jonah’s gourd Jonas the “ desert Ahab” 200 Jonas “ the preacher” 216 has a name that is mighty close to JonahAnd the main character Ransom His name is not as obvious as Whitman’s or Miranda’s But it is also not subtle ‘Ransom’ comes from the Latin for ‘redemption’ And this is indeed a tale of redemptionIn the second half of The Drowned World mood is sacrificed for action Not so in The Drought There is no villain in The Drought Instead the characters contend with each other and with the environment As the river dries up it stinks Dead birds and fish lie in the mud Garbage fires dot the landscape Dust covers everything Yet Ransom lingers He deliberately stays behind when most people are evacuating He welcomes the change Catherine expresses it best when she says to him “ nothing moves but so much is happening” 29Later amid the salt dunes of a dying sea the river will call to them Ransom and Catherine and Philip Jordan The true solitaries in this collection of misfits Catherine drawn back to her lions Philip Jordan drawn back to his river Ransom seeking the timelessness of the desert The river people The marginal people I feel at home with them as my neighbors They coexist without infringing on each other’s solitariness They come and go as they will One may wave to the other on the river bank The other may wave back Or not They are mysteries to each other But what they have in common is their separateness The river is timeless Whether water or sand It washes away the past It washes away memory It washes away obligation Leaving behind an eternal present And in that there is freedom This is what Ransom was seeking and in his return to the river he has ransomed himself He has redeemed himself

Reader The Drought

The DroughtN where a global drought brought on by industrial waste has left mankind in a life or death search for water In the middle of another record Australia summer while rivers dry up and temperatures in some towns crest 49 degrees celsius 120 degrees in old money fahrenheit what could be a fitting read than a JG Ballard novel where the entire world plunges into an endless apocalyptic droughtAnd that is the premise behind The Drought also published as The Burning World Due to human chemical pollution of the oceans a film has formed on the seas that prevents evaporation and cloud formation From a thousand kilometers out from the coasts of every continent rain ceases to be Not a drop of water falls or will fall on any landmass in the world plunging the entire globe into utter unbreaking drought As the lakes rivers and taps go dry no one knows how long the rain will be gone for and as animals die and water becomes scarce a mass desperate exodus to the coasts begins The Drought can in some ways be seen as a companion piece to Ballard’s other novel of a climate gone crazy The Drowned World In the drowned world the planet has been getting hotter and climate becoming crazily tropical as waters rise and inundate the world’s cities – there is too much water in contrast to the shortage that defines The DroughtLike The Drowned World The Drought centers on a single slightly odd male protagonist whose reaction to the changes around him is a strange mix of ambivalence and an almost primal attraction to the wild inhospitable new world he finds himself inBallard’s focus as the world dries out is on Charles Ransom a doctor in a small city who spends most of his time on a houseboat Detached from his career his life and his failed marriage Ransom has become an almost passive observer of the collapse of civilization He watches as the river he is moored on becomes a series of puddles watches as people flee to the ocean watches as his city burns knowing all the while that he too will eventually have to fleeWhat drive he has to live seems about witnessing about seeing what strangeness can eventuate rather than connecting with others or finding meaning in his tired and threadbare lifeHe simply wants to see what is going to happen to see how deep the apocalypse can be And what an apocalypse it is We see the desperate hordes at the coasts lining up for desalinated water We see their remnants years later view spoiler perilously living atop the vast salt flats that desalination has created along the coasts miles from the seas that have been pushed further and further out by heaped saline sand hide spoiler

J.G. Ballard ↠ The Drought Reader

The Drought Mobi ☆ 192 pages Download õ Naturaltreatment ¿ Weird and mesmerizingly grotesue The Drought tells the chilling story of the world on the brink of extinction where a global drought brought on by industrial waste has left mankind in a life or death search for water Violence erupts and insanity reigns Violence erupts and insanity reigns as the human race struggles for survival in a worldwide desert of despa THE GREAT COMPLETIST CHALLENGE In which I revisit older authors and attempt to read every book they ever wroteCurrently in the challenge Martin Amis | Isaac Asimov RobotEmpireFoundation | Margaret Atwood | JG Ballard | Clive Barker | Philip K Dick | Daphne Du Maurier | William Gibson | Michel Houellebec | John Irving | Kazuo Ishiguro | John le Carre | Bernard Malamud | China Mieville | VS Naipaul | Chuck Palahniuk | Tim Powers | Philip Roth | Neal Stephenson | Jim Thompson | John Updike | Kurt Vonnegut | PG WodehouseFinished Christopher Buckley | Shirley JacksonFor the last several years I've ended up at the holidays with something like 20 to 30 book reviews still to write; so I've tended to just log them and give them scores so they'll count towards that year's reading challenge but then move on in January to new books and not go back and review the ones from the previous December I didn't get around to Thankfully I'm keeping up with the reviews fairly well this year so this hopefully won't be a problem again Anyway as I sat down today to review JG Ballard's 1964 The Burning World I realized that the book previous to this 1962's The Drowned World was one of those ones from last December that never got reviewed; and it's important to today's book that you know what I thought of the previous book so it looks like today's one of those occasional days where I'll be doing two book reviews in oneBallard is now mostly remembered for the freaky transgressive tales he wrote in the '70s and '80s so it'll be surprising to most to learn that he started his career with a uadrilogy of Mid Century Modernist style straightforward post apocalyptic science fiction stories about ecology and natural disasters which in the early '60s originally got him lumped in with writers like Ray Bradbury and Arthur C Clarke before heading off in much weirder and unclassifiable directions during the Countercultural Era Per Ballard's wishes I skipped entirely his 1961 debut The Wind From Nowhere which he himself hated to the extent of literally omitting it from his bibliography while alive; so I'm instead starting with his trilogy of the similarly titled The Drowning World The Burned World and 1966's The Crystal World in which the planet Earth alternatively dies out from global flooding a global drought and an alien infection that crystallizes all organic matter it touches The Wind From Nowhere meanwhile is about the Earth dying out from an unending series of hurricanes and tsunamis effectively making his first four novels concern global disasters via air water fire and earth And indeed for an author I mostly currently know because of head trippers like High Rise and Crash what struck me most about The Drowning World when I read it last December was how sober and grounded in science it is with Ballard spending a huge chunk of the book simply looking at how the planet gets into the untenable position it's in and only delving into his trademark weirdness at the very end in which our James Kirkesue hero falls in with a group of doomsday cultists who have decided to stay behind in a now flooded London in order to loot the city of random treasures for absurdist reasons This left me thinking that Ballard was perhaps going to play all three of these novels with a straight face until getting to what's widely acknowledged as his first transgressive book the 1970 experimental story collection The Atrocity Exhibition which was then followed with 1973's sex and car accident fever dream Crash which was such a force of nature that it singlehandedly changed his literary reputation into the one we still now have of himbut on this in a few monthsI was wrong however; for if you define The Drowned World as a book mostly about the science of ecological disaster which as a bonus delves a little bit into the bizarre ways some humans would behave during such a disaster you can define The Burning World as the exact opposite as mostly about the freakouts that people go through in the face of a world ending disaster with only lip service paid literally only a few paragraphs in the entire book to how the disaster came about in the first place Or I mean to be fair Ballard isn't looking here at how all humans would change in the face of a global disaster with our story taking place well into the end times and most of rational sane humanity having already packed up and headed to the nearest ocean; instead Ballard is interested in looking at the small amount of people who would choose to stay behind in their now waterless towns even after such a disaster took place pointing a laser eye at the nihilists criminals mentally challenged and cultishly religious who would voluntarily choose to end their existences under such dire circumstances effectively making this a companion piece to the recent indie movie Beasts of the Southern Wild only with Ballard damning his freak flag flying stragglers instead of celebrating them like the film doesFor those looking for their expected Ballard bizarro fix this is basically the earliest book of his career where you can find one as the author serves up nightmarish visions of landlocked pirates genocidal armed struggles on beachfronts monstrously obese billionaire climate deniers who have gone insane developmentally disabled man child animals who hunt humans for sport while wrapped in the bloody pelts of emaciated tigers from the local zoo and all kinds of other chapters that will make you think Ah right there's the singular weirdo we all know and love It makes me much excited to delve into the final volume of the trilogy and of course from that point on to throw myself into the New Weird books he's now much better known for