Lyrical ballards: the wounded romanticism of J.G. Ballard

Knowles, T., 2015. Lyrical ballards: the wounded romanticism of J.G. Ballard. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis aims to provide a new account of the post-war British author J. G. Ballard (1930-2009) and his work, and in particular of his complex engagement with and critique of Romanticism. As such it represents an original contribution to knowledge in the areas of both J. G. Ballard criticism and in the study of Romantic legacies. Ballard’s ambivalent response to the legacies of Romanticism is seen to form a part of his overall ambivalence and ambiguity as a writer. In addition to the traditional ‘high Romantic’ aesthetic and ideology of Romanticism, Ballard is seen to draw upon Gothic, decadent and symbolist strands of Romanticism. After introducing the key Romantic echoes which I observe in Ballard, and the critical and cultural legacies of Romanticism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which he is responding to, I trace these elements through selected works covering the breadth of his oeuvre. Rather than offering a survey of the entirety of his work, of which there are several in print, the thesis considers a selection of key texts at different stages of Ballard’s career in order to bring out the evolving Romantic resonances of his work. In chapter 1 I examine the apocalyptic bard figures in a number of Ballard’s short stories published between 1956 and 1964; in chapter 2 I focus upon the marriage between mind and world in The Drowned World (1962); chapter 3 considers The Atrocity Exhibition (1970) and Crash (1973) as the urban and suburban sites of the wounding of a Romantic sensibility; chapter 4 concentrates upon The Unlimited Dream Company (1979) and The Day of Creation (1987) as meditations upon the role of the imagination in a multiply-mediated modernity; and chapter 5 investigates Millennium People (2003) and Kingdom Come (2006) as postmodern detective stories that draw upon the tradition of the visionary urban and suburban wanderer.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Knowles, T.
Date: October 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 12 Dec 2017 09:19
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 09:19

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