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The Drowned World: A Novel (50th…
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The Drowned World: A Novel (50th Anniversary) (utgåvan 2013)

av J. G. Ballard (Författare)

Serier: Elemente (Wasser)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,373574,856 (3.44)197
"The Drowned World imagines a terrifying world in which global warming has melted the ice caps and primordial jungles have overrun a tropical London. Set during the year 2145, this novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they confront a cityscape in which nature is on the rampage and giant lizards, dragonflies, and insects fiercely compete for domination."--Provided by publisher.… (mer)
Medlem:magneticsouth
Titel:The Drowned World: A Novel (50th Anniversary)
Författare:J. G. Ballard (Författare)
Info:Liveright (2013), Edition: 50th Anniversary, 208 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Drowned World
Author: JG Ballard
Publisher: Doubleday and Company
Publishing Date: 1965
Pgs: 162
Dewey: PR 6052-+a46d7
Disposition: Interlibrary Loan from William F White Jr Library, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX via Irving Public Library - South Campus - Irving, TX
=======================================
REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Summary:
A cartographic and ecological survey mission slowly retreat northward as temperatures rise, the rains increase, and tropical belts advance. A change is beginning in the human mind. Dreams of a pre-civilized time. Devolution is coming for man as it comes for the Earth. And Man fights man and man dominates man. The pale figure of death stalks.
_________________________________________
Genre:
Science Fiction
Dystopia
Climate Change
Homage

Why this book:
I was taken with the concept.
_________________________________________
The Feel:
This world isn’t just drowning in melting ice, tidal waves, rising oceans, silt: it’s also drowning in its martinetism, racism, elitism, ism, ism, ism. Part of that is a product of when the novel was written and the world that the author grew up in and part of it is the world that is still reading period piece dramas that imagined a world that hasn’t been.

Least Favorite Character:
Only the main characters have any meat on their bones. Most of the others are cardboard cutouts.

Hmm Moments:
European lagoons and jungles and radiation...is it a prematurely growing sun or are they suffering through a nuclear summer? A drowned world indeed.

Hmmm, so super solar flares are to blame.

I’m trying not to look at this story as prescient, but damn. And it was written in 1965.

Did Hardiman disappear...or did Hardiman “disappear”? Half expected him to show up in Beatrice’s freezer dressed for the Sunday dinner table what with the oddness of some of these characters as the advancing temperatures bake their brains.

The whole martinets playing soldier as the world dies is too spot-on for how parts of humanity would react.

WTF Moments:
Why did Riggs start strafing the jungle when Kearns escaped southward? To what purpose. Strict martinet? Orders to not let any people stay behind...or no living people stay behind?

Meh / PFFT Moments:
Strangman is a racist stereotype. The men following him who like Beatrice are almost given agency in the moments where the Admiral has that conversation with Kearns about why they follow Strangman. The whole idea that Strangman is a personification of death and that the Admiral and Big Caesar saw him die and return multiple times was an interesting paradigm that got tossed away in the rush to close that chapter. Of course, it was also tossed away because it deviated from the idea that The Drowned World was following along a Heart of Darkness path/pastiche.

The Sigh:
A mapping project for a purported future when humanity can move back south of the Arctic Circle. Considering that the planet is still in geologic upheaval, these maps are useless almost as fast as they are made. They’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Juxtaposition:
Reading a book about a Hothouse/Greenhouse Earth during Texas summertime is humid.

The Unexpected:
Really expected Beatrice to go with Kearns on his odyssey southward. She felt it too. She lost her agency in the last quarter of the story. Until then, she was going along just fine on her own without the interference of men. This was Ballard not being able to make the commitment to follow the character’s agency through, and give back commonplace institutional misogyny to the powers that be in publishing and science fiction at that time. Following the damsel in distress moment, she was free. And could have had her Princess Leia Strangman and escape only to find Kearns on his way in and given the character her agency back in that way. Second-guessing Ballard when we weren’t facing his editors and readers in that era is a hard thing to do. Yes, we know what we would do today, but yesterday the world was different, stupider, more closeminded.

Missed Opportunity:
Would have made an interesting flip, if the Admiral and Big Caesar had seen Kearns in the same light as Strangman, a dead man returned. And is that had served as the catalyst for them to see Strangman as just another man.
_________________________________________
Last Page Sound:
It’s not really an ending. Enjoyed the story. But not really an ending for any of the characters. No resolution for any of them, except Bodkin and he’s dead, and pyrrhically at that.
======================================= ( )
  texascheeseman | Aug 2, 2021 |
An interesting premise and some intriguing ideas save this from a 1 star rating. The character development is laughable, the action man scenes extremely lame and the stench of racism and misogyny is so strong I frequently needed to stop reading and have a shower. ( )
  SamanthaD-KR | Jun 10, 2021 |
One of the more hallucinatory post-apocalyptic fictions I've read, The Drowned World often feels like the fever dream of someone obsessed with jungles, climate change, and civilization itself. Protagonist Dr. Robert Kerans and his cohorts are exploring the ruins of modern society after solar flares have resulted in the oceans rising hundreds of feet and the rapid encroachment of dinosaur-era reptilian life-forms into the swiftly disintegrating human domains. While carrying out their duties, they're afflicted by the tendency to deliver pseudo-scientific/mystic orations on the deeper meanings of the regression of life back into this more primitive, almost Jurassic epoch:

"Just as psychoanalysis reconstructs the original traumatic situation in order to release the repressed material, so we are now being plunged back into the archaeopsychic past, uncovering the ancient taboos and drives that have been dormant for epochs. The brief span of an individual life is misleading. Each one of us is as old as the entire biological kingdom, and our bloodstreams are tributaries of the great sea of its total memory. The uterine odyssey of the growing fetus recapitulates the entire evolutionary past, and its central nervous system is coded time scale, each nexus of neurons and each spinal level marking a symbolic station, a unit of neuronic time."

Heavy stuff. The actual plot isn't so interesting, being a very tame, almost anesthetized adventure tale starring some of the least dynamic adventurers ever (what's the point of quasi-girlfriend Beatrice Dahl's existence?), but that's somewhat remedied by the neat descriptions of the fantastic new world created by the rising seas. Ballard casually mentions the artist Max Ernst, and indeed his works like Europe After the Rain II are strongly reminiscent of the imagery here. I was disappointed by the seeming decline in the writing quality towards the end, as the druidic drug passages became increasingly rarer:

"Caging the compass, he swung it around towards himself, without realising it sank into a momentary reverie in which his entire consciousness became focused on the serpentine terminal touched by the pointer, on the confused, uncertain but curiously potent image summed up by the concept 'South', with all its dormant magic and mesmeric power, diffusing outwards from the brass bowl held in his hands like the heady vapours of some spectral grail."

Overall it was a quick read and it wasn't horrible, I was just left somewhat confused by the end as the protagonist "left the lagoon and entered the jungle again, within a few days was completely lost, following the lagoons southward through the increasing rain and heat, attacked by alligators and giant bats, a second Adam searching for the forgotten paradises of the reborn Sun." Well then. ( )
1 rösta aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Like diving willingly into a hungry whirlpool of Deep Time, surrounded by all the nightmares of drowning and the unknowable ocean, spinning further and further into the muck which has no bottom... ( )
  evano | Apr 24, 2021 |
(...)

So if you are after spaceships or an adventure romp, look elsewhere: this is about inner space instead of outer space, as Martin Amis notes in his excellent introduction. The problem, however, is that for a novel that supposes to examine a certain psychology, Ballard’s hypothesis obviously is ludicrous. So what is he examining here? A mere speculative effect, that doesn’t offer much insight in the human condition, because it is totally unrealistic? For a psychological novel, there’s not that much characterization, let alone character development, even though there are glimpses of brilliance on the matter.

Paintings of Paul Delvaux and Dalí serve as props in the story, and they offer a way to get a better grip on what Ballard was trying to do, which is write a surrealist/symbolist novel. The Drowned World shouldn’t be read for psychological realism, but rather for psychological symbolism – a tangent to the fact that what is psychologically real is not always the same as reality in this book. Once I realized that, it seemed a pretty straightforward affair: a tale about regression, about the mere veneer of civilized society, and the heart of darkness underlying all. It is as if Ballard’s nature imagery might serve as a simile for the human condition:

"Beautiful and serene from his balcony a few minutes earlier, Kerans realised that the lagoon was nothing more than a garbage-filled swamp."

(...) but I don’t think there’s something like an irreducible primitive core that needs to be held in check. The days of Freud are over – but who can blame Ballard for writing stuff like this in the sixties? Besides, dichotomies remain ever popular today.

(...)

+ this review ends with a discussion of the alleged racism of The Drowned World

More on Weighing A Pig ( )
  bormgans | Mar 21, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 57 (nästa | visa alla)
... wirkt verblüffend modern, während so mancher einst gerühmte Bestseller längst im literarischen Urschlamm versunken ist ...
 

» Lägg till fler författare (31 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ballard, J. G.primär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Amis, MartinInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Berni, OlivieroOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Boswell, JamesIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
French, DickOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Griffiths, JohnOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Groot, RuurdOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hollis, RichardOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Körber, JoachimÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pelham, DavidOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Peterka, JohannIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Powers, Richard M.Omslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Self, WillInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Stoovelaar, FrankOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Thole, C. A. M.Omslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wiskott, IngeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Wikipedia på engelska

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"The Drowned World imagines a terrifying world in which global warming has melted the ice caps and primordial jungles have overrun a tropical London. Set during the year 2145, this novel follows biologist Dr. Robert Kearns and his team of scientists as they confront a cityscape in which nature is on the rampage and giant lizards, dragonflies, and insects fiercely compete for domination."--Provided by publisher.

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