Will Self, 'My hero J. G. Ballard'

British writer pays tribute
JG Ballard, in 1989. Photograph: David Montgomery/Getty Images

Will Self has written a short piece in today's Guardian newspaper, expressing his deep admiration for the British writer J. G. Ballard, who passed away earlier this year. The article anticipates what would have been Ballard's 79th birthday on 15 November, and declares him the 'last great English avatar of the avant garde'.

Self acknowledges the contribution Ballard has made to 'literature, to the visual arts, to architectural theory and even philosophy', before elaborating on the profound influence Ballard held on Self's own confidence and creative imagination:
Tomorrow, on what would have been his 79th birthday, family and friends of JG Ballard will gather in London to celebrate his extraordinary life and still more extraordinary literary achievement. I don't really do "heroes", and Jim Ballard's whole outlook was antithetical to the notion of the "great man" (though less so, I suspect, to that of the "great woman"), but if I were in search of an antiheroic hero it would have to be him. When I was stranded in the doldrums of my early 20s, desperate to write fiction but uncertain that there was any way to yoke my perverse vision to any recognised form, Ballard's luminous short stories and minatory novels showed me a way forward. [Read More]

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