Feb 052013

Ballard wrote the autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun that was made into the great 1987 movie of the same name (with John Malkovitch and Christian Bale; directed by Steven Spielberg) and the novel Crash that was made into the great 1996 movie of the same name by the director David Cronenberg. I always find it interesting when writers talk about obsession; it always seems to me the best work, the most intense work, develops out of obsession (or the obsession develops as a reflection of the artistry and concentration needed to complete the work).


Presumably all obsessions are extreme metaphors waiting to be born. That whole private mythology, in which I believe totally, is a collaboration between one’s conscious mind and those obsessions that, one by one, present themselves as stepping-stones.

via Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 85, J. G. Ballard.

  2 Responses to “Obsession, Metaphor and Writing novels: The Paris Review Interview with J. G. Ballard”

  1. Of course, it’s the inherent quality of the artistic nature to be obsessive and it follows that we are then compulsive about finding the metaphor to take it home to others. The only thing that saves the artist is that the object of the obsession changes. There’s the obsession with the content and the compulsion to create it, change it, improve it.

    P.S. Now that I’ve discovered Le Numero & D.G. I’m obsessed with my morning read and not getting to my own work early enough. What will he have for me tomorrow? bb

    • We are in the process of setting up a hotline for NC addicts who have gone over the edge. Also there is a clinic in Mexico City that offers NC Aversion Therapy (NCAT — pronounced EN-CAT) in which addicts are forced to sit a read the NC Archives for 48-hour non-stop sessions (wait, that’s what people do anyway). FONCA is the Families of NC Addicts, a small but growing organization composed of weeping significant others and thin children.


      I’m glad you enjoy this, Byrna.

      Tomorrow we have, well, a surprise.

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