Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Miracles of Life

I am currently reading JG Ballard's autobiography, Miracles of Life. Currently about half way through, and enjoying it greatly, which surprises me, given how modest a book it is. I don't often think of memoirs to be modest, but in this case, it is the best way to describe such a so far finely written book.

Little bits strike me keenly as I read it. That the act of writing is perhaps one born out of privilege. Ballard's mention that he supports the American act of dropping the bomb, which places him so specifically at a time and place. His portrayal of the camp, Lunghua, and the way that he is captures the freedom of his childhood in it, while keeping on the edges the hardship of his parents that would, during this time, become estranged through their lack of parental power while imprisoned. There's more, of course, and there will be more as I continue, I am sure, and given the slim nature of the book, I wonder if I won't feel that the latter parts of Ballard's life will be treated with less importance than the first years (much, really, like Nabakov's autobiography, which is a love letter to the Russia he believed stolen from him by the revolution).

I think I will start reading the holes in my Ballard knowledge, after this. I've been meaning to for some time (I always mean to read something) but the book is tipping me over, and I suspect, re-reading books such as Empire of the Sun and Crash will have more resonance.

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