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0681 | Crash | J G Ballard

0681 | Crash | J G Ballard post image

Context: Read this in the break at a landlords’ professional development meeting in Harrogate one evening.

Even as I placed my penis in his rectum Vaughan had known he would try to kill me, in a final display of his casual love for me.

Crash, page 172

That pretty much sums up Ballard’s attempt to, I don’t know, shock the world into realising how horrible we all are, maybe.

To be honest, having read it, I have no idea why anyone would want to write a novel like this, would want to put into other people’s minds images of animal sex and the results of the lack of attention to car safety in the 1970s.

Except to shock people into thinking humanity is a mess.

If so, the approach to take to the book is simple: if you know humanity is a mess and that not a single one of us contains an ounce of goodness unless by God’s saving grace through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, you don’t need to read it.

If you don’t believe that and still think people are somehow good at heart or all have the potential to be good if they try hard enough, read Crash until you decide otherwise.

At that point, you can stop reading.

If you get all the way through and think that a more accurate description of the human condition is portrayed by Little Women or anything by Jane Austen, then you are truly the lost soul that Ballard was writing about when he created the character Vaughan.

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