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Verden under vand

af J. G. Ballard

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2,305534,878 (3.45)191
Science fiction-roman. Solstorme har ændret klimaet og omdannet jorden til sumpe med fortidig flora og fauna. De overlevende samles i polarområderne, men mange drages mod sydens dødbringende hede.
  1. 30
    Earth Abides af George R. Stewart (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: another post-apocalyptic novel with a more philosophical attitude, quieter and more introspective.
  2. 10
    The Genocides af Thomas M. Disch (ShelfMonkey)
  3. 10
    Freakangels, Volume 5 af Warren Ellis (djryan)
  4. 21
    Doktor Moreaus Ø af H. G. Wells (amanda4242)
  5. 10
    Blood Music af Greg Bear (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: tapping into the human evolution theme and the drastic changes in form and function we can take.
  6. 00
    Cage of Souls af Adrian Tchaikovsky (souloftherose)
  7. 11
    Annihilation af Jeff VanderMeer (ShelfMonkey)
  8. 01
    Mørkets hjerte af Joseph Conrad (amanda4242)

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» Se også 191 omtaler

Engelsk (51)  Italiensk (2)  Alle sprog (53)
Viser 1-5 af 53 (næste | vis alle)

So if you are after spaceships or an adventure romp, look elsewhere: this is about inner space instead of outer space, as Martin Amis notes in his excellent introduction. The problem, however, is that for a novel that supposes to examine a certain psychology, Ballard’s hypothesis obviously is ludicrous. So what is he examining here? A mere speculative effect, that doesn’t offer much insight in the human condition, because it is totally unrealistic? For a psychological novel, there’s not that much characterization, let alone character development, even though there are glimpses of brilliance on the matter.

Paintings of Paul Delvaux and Dalí serve as props in the story, and they offer a way to get a better grip on what Ballard was trying to do, which is write a surrealist/symbolist novel. The Drowned World shouldn’t be read for psychological realism, but rather for psychological symbolism – a tangent to the fact that what is psychologically real is not always the same as reality in this book. Once I realized that, it seemed a pretty straightforward affair: a tale about regression, about the mere veneer of civilized society, and the heart of darkness underlying all. It is as if Ballard’s nature imagery might serve as a simile for the human condition:

"Beautiful and serene from his balcony a few minutes earlier, Kerans realised that the lagoon was nothing more than a garbage-filled swamp."

(...) but I don’t think there’s something like an irreducible primitive core that needs to be held in check. The days of Freud are over – but who can blame Ballard for writing stuff like this in the sixties? Besides, dichotomies remain ever popular today.


+ this review ends with a discussion of the alleged racism of The Drowned World

More on Weighing A Pig ( )
  bormgans | Mar 21, 2021 |
As one of Ballard’s early works, this is pretty readable, esp. if you’ve ever tried the atrocious witterings of the likes of Crash. It’s sci-fi, and the basic premise is that the temperature of the world has risen so much the equatorial regions of the world have become unihabitable swamps flooded by the entirely melted polar regions to which the population has now retreated.

The primordial landscape becomes the setting for our narrative of competing factions pitted not only against the physical environment but, of more consequence it seems, the mental strain of living in such climatic extremes.

This latter pressure very much gives the novel a Heart-of-Darkness feel. Madness isn’t far away from anyone as their dreams are haunted by visions of being enveloped by heat or water or both and their daylight (and there’s a lot of that) seems an undending nightmare from which there is no relief.

This results in characters subject to some kind of reverse evolution whereby they find themselves unable to resist urges to strip themselves of every vestige of humanity, abandon community and launch themselves off into the annihilation of the endless wastes.

Ballard raises a lot of questions exploring what this means about humanity and our role in nature. There’s no hierarchy. It’s a symbiosis. While it’s our power over the environment that has destroyed the balance of the planet’s ecosystems, at the same time humanity finds itself unable to exert any power at all in the resulting ecosystem.

Continued global warming and rising sea levels have lent the 1962 novel even greater prescience than when it was first published. It strikes me that it should be more widely known because of this.

But then it strikes me daily that despite the rhetoric no one actually gives a toss.

I see friends and family around me continuing to buy single-use plastic drinks bottles and takeaway containers in the face of clear alternatives. I hear people’s plans to take absolutely unnecessary transcontinental flights when things open up again. I continue to pull plastic out of the sand on the beach where I live, plastic that comes directly from the shops on the sea front selling complete shit no one needs.

And if you’re more angered that I used the word ‘shit’ than by my description of our needlessly selfish behaviour, I’m writing this for you.

If we’re not bothering with all the evidence we’re presented with, Ballard’s fiction might well become fact. And having read quite a bit of him, a world in which Ballard’s fiction is fact is not one I want to live in any longer. ( )
1 stem arukiyomi | Dec 27, 2020 |
Increased solar activity strips away the Van Allen belts, increasing the temperature and radiation levels on Earth, which reverts to a Triassic climate. Humanity retreats towards the poles while memories encoded in DNA assert themselves psychologically.

The amount of very descriptive writing overwhelms the rest of the book, which reads like somebody telling you at length about a dream they had. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 10, 2020 |
The best corollary to this classic is [Stranger in a Strange Land] - which, for me, isn't a good thing. Way too much navel gazing and esoteric BS characterized as high, moral thought. The premise is good - the world is mostly underwater and civilization has retreated to the northern climes save for some scavenging scientists trying to figure out if the new tropical, waterlogged swamps are habitable. But the idea that everyone is somehow retreating into their own minds to earlier and more neanderthal existence burdens the boundaries of transcendental thought. It ends up being too cute for its own good, and almost unreadable. ( )
  blackdogbooks | Nov 25, 2020 |
Not really "prescient" (the science in here is utter bunk), this is more a bizarre psychological musing drawing heavily on "Heart of Darkness". Suggested for Ballard fans or "60s/70s disaster SF" completists, but I didn't find it very compelling. The overt racism doesn't help, either.

Classic Sci-Fi discussion notes: http://positronchicago.blogspot.com/2016/09/classic-sci-fi-drowned-world.html ( )
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 53 (næste | vis alle)
... wirkt verblüffend modern, während so mancher einst gerühmte Bestseller längst im literarischen Urschlamm versunken ist ...

» Tilføj andre forfattere (31 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Ballard, J. G.primær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Amis, MartinIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Berni, OlivieroOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Boswell, JamesIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
French, DickOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Griffiths, JohnOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Groot, RuurdOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hollis, RichardOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Körber, JoachimOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Pelham, DavidOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Peterka, JohannIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Powers, Richard M.Omslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Self, WillIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stoovelaar, FrankOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Thole, C. A. M.Omslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wiskott, IngeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Science fiction-roman. Solstorme har ændret klimaet og omdannet jorden til sumpe med fortidig flora og fauna. De overlevende samles i polarområderne, men mange drages mod sydens dødbringende hede.

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