J.G. Ballard (1930-2009)
The South Bank Show: J.G. Ballard (ITV, 2006)
Melvyn Bragg and Ballard discuss his experiences as a medical student (encouraging everyone to spend some time studying anatomy), through to his discovery of science fiction.
Ballard talks about the influence of the Surrealist painters on his early novels, which all dealt with natural catastrophe (The Drowned World, The Crystal World, The Drought) and the death of his wife and the effect this had on his fiction.
They talk also about Crash, Ballard's most controversial novel, which inspired one publisher's reader to write "This author is beyond psychiatric help. Do not publish" - which Ballard took as a huge compliment!
Ballard in turn talks about the obsessions that have distinguished his fiction since he first started writing, the nature of his "cautionary tales" and his new book, Kingdom Come.
Contributors include long-time Ballard fans Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Martin Amis, with Self claiming that Ballard is "this country's most significant post-war novelist."