Weekend links 635


A close-up image of the surface of a soap bubble. The image reveals ‘lipid islands’ of soap floating on a very thin film of water. The film on which the soap floats is so thin that it does not interfere with the light hitting it, therefore allowing the light to pass through. This creates an appearance of a black abyss. Magnification x250.”

• Coming soon from Strange Attractor Press: Everything Keeps Dissolving, Conversations with Coil edited by Nick Soulsby. I helped out a little with this one so I’m looking forward to seeing it. And since the cult fervour around the group remains undiminished, anyone interested in buying a copy is advised to do so sooner rather than later.

• There are over 90 stories in The Complete Short Stories of JG Ballard (quantities vary according to edition) but few of them have been adapted into other media. The Drowned Giant is an exception, an animated short directed by Tim Miller.

• “You could spend your life exploring its dream logic without arriving at a definitive destination.” Anne Billson on the mysteries of Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Earwig.

• Meta-mix of the week: links to yearly mixes of favourite ambient releases by A Strangely Isolated Place.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Matchstick cookies keep the flame of tradition alive.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: George A. Romero Day.

Felicia Atkinson’s favourite music.

• RIP Wolfgang Petersen.

Das Boot: Titel (1981) by Klaus Doldinger | Martin (1983) by Soft Cell | Everything Keeps Dissolving (2000) by Coil

4 thoughts on “Weekend links 635”

  1. Speaking of Ballard, I was recently inspired to create a combination 3D collage/diorama inspired by his story “Terminal Beach” and the art of Salvador Dali. I stopped in the planning stages, though, because, no matter how detailed the project might be, I didn’t feel I could convey the psychological dimension of the story. Perhaps I’ll return to it, but for now, I am stymied.

  2. That’s always the problem with a writer like Ballard (and literary illustration in general), you can depict the surface elements but can’t capture the psychological qualities. The feature-film adaptations of Ballard’s work suffer in much the same way, although Cronenberg’s Crash makes a valiant attempt to get inside the heads of the characters.

  3. With current concerns I’ve wondered why someone hasn’t had a go at The Drowned World. An image of a submerged London could be very powerful. But as you’ve pointed out, how do you depict the inner transformation of the characters, their regression to a primordial consciousness, the most interesting part of the novel? The filmmakers would inevitably focus on the Conradian ‘Heart of Darkness’ portion of the novel, which I’ve always thought was the weakest part.

  4. I have an illustrated edition, as it happens, done in watercolours (fittingly) by Dick French:


    It was supposed to be one of a series of illustrated editions from Dragon’s Dream but they only produced a couple of titles.

    With film you can use voiceover to explore the psychology of the characters. This is usually frowned upon for offending the “show don’t tell” rule but it seems essential with Ballard. One of the problems with High-Rise (the film) is that you need to have read the novel to appreciate why everyone starts behaving the way they do.

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