the disaster area


'Again at night Mason heard the sounds of the approaching sea, the muffled thunder of breakers rolling up the near-by streets. Roused from his sleep, he ran out into the moonlight, where the white-framed houses stood like sepulchres among the washed concrete courts. Two hundred years away the waves plunged and boiled, sluicing in and out across the pavement. Foam seethed through the picket fences, and the broken spray filled the air with the wine-sharp tang of brine.
Off-shore the deeper swells of the open sea rode across the roofs of the submerged houses, the white-caps cleft by isolated chimneys. Leaping back as the cold foam stung his feet, Mason glanced at the house where his wife lay sleeping. Each night the sea moved a few yards nearer, a hissing guillotine across the empty lawns.'


The Disaster Area
(Now Wakes the Sea)
(Page 77)



' "The most interesting aspect of the oldest archetypes of the human psyche―the ghost―and the whole supernatural army of phantoms, witches, demons and so on. Are they all, in fact, nothing more than psychoretinal flashbacks, transposed images of the observer himself, jolted on to the retinal screen by fear, bereavement, religious obsession? The most notable thing about the majority of ghosts is how prosaically equipped they are, compared with the elaborate literary productions of the great mystics and dreamers. The nebulous white sheet is probably the observer's own nightgown. It's an interesting field for speculation. For example, take the most famous ghost in literature and reflect how much more sense Hamlet makes if you realize that the ghost of his murdered father is really Hamlet himself." '


- Zone of Terror
(Page 133)



' "Tell me, has it ever occurred to you how completely death-orientated the psyche is?" 
Morley smiled. "Now and then," he said, wondering where this led.
"It's curious," Lang went on reflectively. "The pleasure-pain principle, the whole survival-compulsion apparatus of sex, the Super-Ego's obsession with tomorrow―most of the time the psyche can't see farther than its own tombstone. Now why has it got this strange fixation? For one very obvious reason." He tapped the air with his forefinger. "Because every night it's given a pretty convincing reminder of the fate in store for it."
"You mean the black hole," Morley, suggested wryly. "Sleep?"
"Exactly. It's simply a pseudo-death. Of course, you're not aware of it, but it must be terrifying." He frowned. "It don't think even Neill realizes that, far from being restful, sleep is a genuinely traumatic experience."
So that's it, Morley thought. The great father analyst has been caught napping on his own couch. He tried to decide which were worse―patients who knew a lot of psychiatry, or those who only knew a little.
"Eliminate sleep," Lang was saying, "and you also eliminate all the fear and defence mechanisms erected round it. Then, at last, the psyche has a chance to orientate towards something more valid."
"Such as . . . ?" Morley asked.
"I don't know. Perhaps . . . Self?" '


- Manhole 69
(Page 156-157)



It's been three books since i read J. G. Ballard's collection of short stories.
I can't say i was overly enamoured.
Hence the lack of reviewage.
That and extreme seasonal lethargy.

But, as is always the way with Mr Ballard, i came away with a few key collections of words that oiled the cogs in ye olde brainpan . . . e.
Always a good thing.
My brain is disintegrating.
Someone educate me.


My reviews used to be better.
My brain used to function better.
I'm going to self-diagnose myself with CFS.
It's the only explanation for how much i suck at life these days.