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Title: Lyrical ballards : the wounded romanticism of J.G. Ballard
Author: Knowles, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 794X
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2015
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available