Daily Gimpei pays the best tribute to JG Ballard by quoting him. Here’s my favorite JG Ballard provocation: The Index. It’s not just that Ballard’s using a clever and post-modern device, it’s that he’s being so funny in doing so as he outlines the outrageous life of Henry Rhodes Hamilton:
Hitler, Adolf, invites HRH to Berchtesgaden, 166; divulges Russia invasion plans, 172; impresses HRH, 179; disappoints HRH, 181
‘Churchill, Winston, conversations with HRH, 221; at Chequers with HRH, 235; spinal tap performed by HRH, 247; at Yalta with HRH, 298; ‘iron curtain’ speech, Fulton, Missouri, suggested by HRH, 312; attacks HRH in Commons debate, 367’.
The opening to Citizen Kane cracks the same joke: the lives of great men seem like a 70-year bout of hysteria when you condense them into the small space of an index or movie-news reel.