BALLARD, J.G. Crash.

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BALLARD, J.G. Crash Jonathan Cape, London, 1973

8vo. Green paper wrappers with black lettering to spine; descriptive pastedown to the frontispiece; pp. [4] 224; slight discolouration on front cover and to top and side of template; minor bruising to spine, ink penned annotations to pg. 53 & 59, 108 & 109, 124 & 125/126/127 & 200.
This uncorrected proof contains numerous edits by Ballard himself. These changes do not appear in the published version but seem to have been passages revised post-publication. The published work also lost the exclamation point in the title of this edition. The descriptive pastedown to the frontispiece is also not the same as the blurb of the published version. This edition comes from the library of Martin Bax, founding editor of the poetry and arts magazine Ambit (1959-2023) , to which Ballard sometimes contributed
“I wanted to rub the human race in its own vomit, and force it to look in the mirror.”…
A highly controversial and cult work, exploring the experiences of a group of car-crash fetishists who become sexually aroused by staging and participating in lethal car accidents, inspired by the famous crashes of celebrities. Unsurprisingly, opinion was highly divided upon publication, with the New York Times writing "hands-down, the most repulsive book I've yet to come across" and another reviewer returning the verdict "This author is beyond psychiatric help. Do Not Publish!". Anthony Burgess supported Ballard's graphic transgressions as such; 'Ballard has issued a series of bulletins on the modern world of almost unerring prescience. Other writers describe; Ballard anticipates".
Ballard defended his work and it's prophetic appeal by writing: "Throughout Crash I have used the car not only as a sexual image, but as a total metaphor for man's life in today's society. As such the novel has a political role quite apart from its sexual content, but I would still like to think that Crash is the first pornographic novel based on technology. In a sense, pornography is the most political form of fiction, dealing with how we use and exploit each other in the most urgent and ruthless way. Needless to say, the ultimate role of Crash is cautionary, a warning against that brutal, erotic and overlit realm that beckons more and more persuasively to us from the margins of the technological landscape."
Crash is one of the most shocking and controversial novels of the 20th century and was made into a scandalous film by David Cronenberg.