The Drowned World

BALLARD, J.G. The Drowned World.

Regular price
Sale price
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

After the ice caps have melted

BALLARD, J.G. The Drowned World London, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1962

8vo. Red cloth boards with gilt lettering to spine; Yellow and Purple dust wrapper; pp. [6] 7-175 [1]; very slight fading to dust wrapper spine and to top edge; minor chip to top corner of dust wrapper; otherwise near fine.
"Soon it would be too hot" is the first line of The Drowned World , written as biologist Robert Kerans presides over a melting society from his balcony, the rising water 10 storeys from his feet.
Based in the year 2145 in London, The Drowned World is Ballard's second novel and portrays a post-apocalyptic future in which global warming has melted the ice caps and jungles have run riot, engulfing the city. The novel follows the attempts of hero Robert Kerans and his army of scientists as they try to salvage a broken world from the domination of nature which has grown beyond bounds as a result of increased solar radiation.
The ecological catastrophe envisaged in his novel has become an all too devastating, tangible reality, no longer merely located in fictional dystopias. Over 50 years since its publication, we have witnessed the average temperature of the earth drastically increase, with each of the last four decades being warmer than any that came before it. The Greenland and Arctic ice sheets are melting rapidly and sea levels are dramatically rising.
In The Drowned World Kerans watches the "countless reflections of the sun move across the surface in huge sheets of fire, like the blazing facetted eyes of gigantic insects". Not only did Ballard predict the severity of the climate criss, his terrifying cityscape is becoming less and less of an imaginative exaggertation. The searing cultural commentary throughout the body of his work demonstrates how chaos can rage in the midst of presumed calm and how quickly conventional landscape, both physical and psychological, can be ruptured. As he is quoted; "Given that external reality is a fiction, the writers role is almost superflous. He does not need to invent the fiction because the fiction is already there".