Between the Natural and the Artificial: The Sublime Sexual Sensation of Car Crashes in J.G. Ballard’s Crash

Seiwald, Regina (2018) Between the Natural and the Artificial: The Sublime Sexual Sensation of Car Crashes in J.G. Ballard’s Crash. Green Letters, 22 (4). pp. 412-425. ISSN 1468-8417

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Abstract

At a time when technology progressively pushes back nature, the sexual act runs the risk of being denaturalised. The notion of the sublime, which I argue is how humans react to the machine as a surrogate for nature and as a sexual stimulus in Crash (1973), is therefore of central interest in this article. Ballard himself has described Crash as ‘the first pornographic novel based on technology’ (1973, 6). This engagement with a technologised sexuality is explored as a subjective narrative stance, which grants authenticity to the fictive alter ego, who can probe alternatives to an extra-textual reality. This narrative mode is notably potent in relation to the narrator’s estimation of the merge between sexuality and technology in the form of car crashes uniting Eros and Thanatos. I therefore suggest that Crash can be read as an attempt to localise the natural and human in a world dictated by artificiality and technology.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14688417.2018.1529607
Date: 23 October 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ballard; Crash; sublime; inner space; autofiction; Eros and Thanatos
Subjects: Q200 Comparative Literary studies
Q300 English studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
Depositing User: Regina Seiwald
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2020 13:04
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2020 03:00
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8806

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