❮PDF / Epub❯ ☆ Super-Cannes ✪ Author J.G. Ballard – Thisbookse.co

Super-Cannes summary Super-Cannes, series Super-Cannes, book Super-Cannes, pdf Super-Cannes, Super-Cannes b58b7bec57 Eden Olympia Is Than Just A Multinational Business Park, It Is A Virtual City State In Itself, Built For The Most Elite High Tech Industries Isolated And Secure, The Residents Lack Nothing, Yet One Day, A Doctor At The Clinic Goes On A Suicidal Shooting Spree Dr Jane Sinclair Is Hired As His Replacement, And Her Husband Paul Uncovers The Dangerous Psychological Vents That Maintain Eden Olympia S Smoothly Running Surface


10 thoughts on “Super-Cannes

  1. says:

    A wonderful novel, oozing with millenarian angst and chock full of Ballard s favourite icons, played from his deck like tarot cards the Grounded Pilot, the Closed Community, the Unhinged Doctor, the Sexy Car Crash with the theme, as always, having to do with the dark poles of eros and thanatos lurking just beneath the veneer of human society The plot involves Paul Sinclair, a former airman recovering from a plane crash, who accompanies his young wife Jane to an ultramodern business park on the French Riviera, where she is to work as an on site physician Paul gets drawn into uncovering the mystery surrounding Jane s predecessor, who went on a killing spree and murdered ten people before being killed himself.At first the place seems paradisiacal, full of rich happy people like something from the 30s a vanished world of Cole Porter and beach pyjamas, morphine lesbians and the swagger portraits of Tamara de Lempicka But something is very wrong at the Eden Olympia complex in each tiny, everyday detail there is an undercurrent of cheap sex, casual violence, sickness It is very Lynchian in that sense god I wish Lynch would film this Over the swimming pools and manicured lawns seemed to hover a dream of violence, we are told at one point but often the hints are subtle and unnerving Innocuous body parts become creepy and upsetting as Ballard describes them My exposed big toes unsettled her, flexing priapically among the unswept leaves.I love this sentence so much It makes me laugh at how ridiculous it is, while also making me shudder because it works There is lurking menace when Paul and Jane arrive at their new home The house was silent, but somewhere in the garden was a swimming pool filled with unsettled water Actually let me just stop there for a second so we can appreciate that admirable sentence Doing a lot of work, isn t it Direct but efficient Ballard goes on Reflections from its disturbed surface seemed to bruise the smooth walls of the house The light drummed against Jane s sunglasses, giving her the edgy and vulnerable look of a studio visitor who had strayed into the wrong film set.The reference to the movie business is an example of Ballard s tendency to choose his similes and metaphors from the realms of modern technology and celebrity culture The world of Super Cannes is not natural but, rather, mediated or scientific, even medical a flag flutters like the trace of a fibrillating heart , the sea is smooth enough to xerox , every hair on a fur stole is as vibrant as an electron track in a cloud chamber , crowds of tourists clump around the shop fronts like platelets blocking an artery.This is only the third or fourth Ballard novel I ve read, but I ve never enjoyed his cold, efficient prose style than I did here Some writers explore themes Ballard dissects them, using a scalpel Like his main influence, William Burroughs, and his main disciple, Will Self, Ballard sees social problems as a matter of pathology sexual perversion for him is about psychosexual dysfunction casual violence is about clinical psychopathy This medicalisation can make for an eerie worldview, but it gives you some descriptive passages you wouldn t get from any other writer And for once, I genuinely cared about the characters here I was really rooting for Paul and Jane to get out in one piece.As well as being a mystery story, this is a stonking novel of ideas, and the main idea is this if the modern world is making us all less sociable and atomised, what might the psychological consequences be Because the madness and violence at Eden Olympia are intimately tied to the erosion of community that Ballard sees around him People find all the togetherness they need in the airport boarding lounge and the department store lift They pay lip service to community values but prefer to be alone.Or again The Adolf Hitlers and Pol Pots of the future won t walk out of the desert They ll emerge from shopping malls and corporate business parks.I m not sure I entirely accept Ballard s thesis, or his speculation that meaningless violence may be the true poetry of the new millennium but then I don t think he does either it s thrown out there as a way of working with the issues Watching him at work, scalpel in hand, is disturbing, thought provoking, and enormously enjoyable.


  2. says:

    Remake Remodel Reboot Super Cannes seems to be a reboot of Ballard s previous novel, Cocaine Nights.When I finished it, I re read my review of Cocaine Nights and was surprised at how much of it could be applied equally to this work, with only minimal adjustment CN is set in an expatriate community on the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean S C is set in the Eden Olympia high tech business park on the French Cote d Azur.In CN , the narrator, Charles, investigates crimes allegedly committed by his brother, Frank In S C , the narrator, Paul, investigates ten murders including those of seven senior executives at Eden Olympia allegedly committed by a boyishly handsome English doctor David Greenwood who has previously had an affair with Paul s girlish bodied physician wife, Jane she could have passed for seventeen. Eventually, Charles takes on Frank s roles and responsibilities in the community Paul who is too dull and normal for Eden Olympia finds out enough about the internal operations of the business park to identify with and want to finish the personal crusade started by David.Yet again, a character becomes a passenger in the life of another, even if they ve already died.Down the Rabbit HoleBallard attended the Cannes Film Festival with David Cronenberg in 1996 to launch the film of Crash. It s evident that Ballard became quite familiar with the layout of Cannes and the surrounding environs.Like CN , S C adopts the style of a noirish crime thriller The writing style is very matter of fact, sentences are both descriptive and economical Every now and again, one stands out and grabs your attention We are always looking through a glass darkly The sinister oozes between the words and through the shattered glass of broken mirrors Readily acknowledging his debt to Lewis Carroll, Ballard takes us down the rabbit hole and guides us chapter by chapter towards the malevolence that lurks in the world below The Illusion Pays Off Paul introduces us to the psychiatrist, Dr Wilder Penrose, in the first paragraph of the novel I realise now that a kind of waiting madness, like a state of undeclared war, haunted the office buildings of the business park For most of us, Dr Wilder Penrose was our amiable Prospero, the psychopomp who steered our darkest dreams towards the daylightOnly when I learned to admire this flawed and dangerous man was I able to think of killing him Eden Olympia is a community held together by talent, not wealth or glamour. Penrose explains to Paul Forget about crime The important thing is that the residents of Eden Olympia think they re policing themselvesThey aren t, but the illusion pays off For the psychiatrist, the illusion is just as valid as reality Feeling Deeply Bored The newly arrived Paul and Jane live in a large art deco villa in which David Greenwood formerly resided The ocean liner windows and porthole skylights seemed to open onto the 1930 s, a vanished world of Cole Porter and beach pyjamas, morphine lesbians and the swagger portraits of Tamara de Lempecka Detail by Tamara de LempeckaEden Olympia itself is strangely clinical and antiseptic Intimacy and neighbourliness were not features of everyday life at Eden Olympia An invisible infrastructure took the place of traditional civic virtuesThe top drawer professionals no longer needed to devote a moment s thought to each other, and had dispensed with the checks and balances of community life There were no town councils or magistrates courts, no citizens advice bureaus Civility and polity were designed into Eden OlympiaRepresentative democracy had been replaced by the surveillance camera and the private police force By the afternoon, all this tolerance and good behaviour left me feeling deeply bored Freedom from MoralityPaul starts to acquire an understanding of Eden Olympia All you people do is work It s wonderful here, but they left out realityThere s no drama and no conflictWhere are the moral compass bearings that hold everything together Has Eden Olympia gone beyond morality To which Penrose responds We ve achieved real freedom, the freedom from morality The rich know how to cope with the psychopathic The squirearchy have always enjoyed freedoms denied to the tenant farmers and peasantry De Sade s behaviour was typical of his class Aristocracies keep alive those endangered pleasures that repel the bourgeoisie They may seem perverse, but they add to the possibilities of life Perverse behaviours were once potentially dangerous Societies weren t strong enough to allow them to flourish The middle classes have run the world since the French Revolution, but they re now the new proletariat It s time for another elite to set the agenda Sadeian ImpulsesPenrose believes that sado masochistic sex, violence, paedophilia, kiddie porn, drugs and fascist ideas are all conducive to mental health These impulses exist in all of us They re the combustible fuel the psyche runs onWe re talking about thoughts not deeds We don t give in to every passing whim or impulse But it s a mistake to ignore themIf you feel drawn from thought to deed, seize the hour Pay the price Be true to your real self, embrace all the possibilities of your life Psychopathy is the treatment Penrose prescribes for the inhabitants of Eden Olympia Eden Olympia s great defect is that there s no need for personal morality Thousands of people live and work here without making a single decision about right and wrong The moral order is engineered into their lives along with the speed limits and the security systemsBut part of the mind atrophies A moral calculus that took thousands of years to develop starts to wither from neglect Once you dispense with morality the important decisions become a matter of aesthetics You ve entered an adolescent world where you define yourself by the kind of trainers you wear The Adolf Hitlers and Pol Pots of the future won t walk out of the desert They ll emerge from shopping malls and corporate business parks Psychopathy is Freedom, Psychopathy is Fun Penrose initiates his patients into therapeutic group violence, which they film on video The run down chief executives need a small dose of madness, a carefully metered measure of psychopathy Nothing too criminal or deranged More like an adventure training course, or a game of touch rugby Soon we had an active therapy group with a dozen senior executives At weekends they d start brawls in Maghrebian bars, trash any Arab cars that looked unroadworthy, rough up a Russian pimp or two Meaningless violence may be the true poetry of the new millennium Perhaps only gratuitous madness can define who we areThese criminal activities have helped them to rediscover themselves The twentieth century ended with its dreams in ruins The notion of the community as a voluntary association of enlightened citizens has died forever We realise how suffocatingly humane we ve become, dedicated to moderation and the middle way The suburbanisation of the soul has overrun our planet like the plagueSanity and reason are but a vast illusion, built from mirrors that lie Homo sapiens is a reformed hunter killer of depraved appetites, which once helped him to survive The deviant impulses coded into his central nervous system have been switched off He can no longer harm himself or anyone else But nature sensibly endowed him with a taste for cruelty and an intense curiosity about pain and death Without them, he s trapped in the afternoon shopping malls of a limitless mediocrity We need to revive him, give him back the killing eye and the dreams of death Together they helped him to dominate this planet The group violence allows Penrose to experience violence vicariously, so there is a sense in which his approach is designed for his own benefit.The Escalator of Possibility Part of You Believes His Lunatic Ideology Paul is almost tempted by Penrose s rhetoric In his playful way he was egging me on, urging me to board the escalator of possibility that had begun to unroll itself at my feet He can be very persuasive, setting out his Sadeian world, his do it yourself psychopathy kit Ballard uses Penrose as an example of what he calls normalising the psychopathic It allows him to personalise an ideology he believes has arisen, perhaps spontaneously, perhaps inevitably, in late 20th century capitalism.Much of Ballard s diagnosis of the psychopathic condition reminded me of the works of Don DeLillo.Nietzsche Above the CroisettePenrose is not advocating an insane free for all A voluntary and sensible psychopathy is the only way we can impose a shared moral order Years of bourgeois conditioning had produced a Europe suffocating in work, commerce and conformity Its people needed to break out, to invent the hatreds that could liberate them, and they found an Austrian misfit only too happy to do the jobA controlled psychopathy is a way of resocialising people and tribalising them into mutually supportive groups Psychopathy is the only engine powerful enough to light our imaginations, to drive the arts, sciences and industries of the world There are times when you feel the wind of history under your wings Paul declares himself against Penrose s ideology In it, he detects the ultimate cause of the social problems plaguing Eden Olympia Let s Kill All the Psychiatrists In the end, Paul believes he has found the motive for David s murder spree view spoiler It also becomes a motive for his own embrace of David s murderous modus operandi hide spoiler


  3. says:

    Anyone who s read say, half a dozen Ballard novels could probably identify this as such from the first paragraph A first paragraph that stayed with me through out the book Indeed I re read it twice, once at about the 1 3 mark and once right after finishing the book.One is rapidly led to believe that this novel deals with all of Ballard s normal tropes medical doctor characters, nutters, aviation, social microcosms, veneer of civilisation which is easily ripped away In the case of one of these, though, one is being mis led, which makes the book interesting Instead of pulling a Lord of the Flies re set see High Rise, Concrete Island, Rushing to Paradise here the characters, despite all working in a giant science park on the French Riviera, do not lose their connections to the outside world completely at least not physically, making the book realistic than say, High Rise, where everybody inexplicably chooses to give up work and never leave their middle class tower apartment block home Most of the characters still behave like a moral aliens or depraved loonies, however This seems to have been one of Ballard s core beliefs we re all just pretending to be sane until we can get to a situation where we don t have to pretend any I don t really buy it.There s a murder mystery at the core of the book, which provides a narrative drive sometimes absent with Ballard Who did what and why seems to be pretty much wrapped up by about half way and then the book meanders for about 100p before further revelations wind things up again for a denouement that is quite satisfying, particularly the very end.If there s a real antagonist in this book, it s the psychiatrist, Wilder, who s views are disturbing I immediately reacted against them this must be wrong But I had to stop and seriously think things through to see where the error was hidden A novel hasn t made me do that since Starship Troopers It s one of those scary philosophies all the dangerous and superficially plausible because there is just enough truth mixed with the insanity.Ballard is such a hit and miss writer High Rise was an unmitigated disaster, Rushing to Paradise is a bull s eye, this is somewhere between More interesting for being a believable setting, readable for its use and subversion of murder mystery trappings, clever in the character arc of the protagonist, but suffering still from being too much of a re tread of Ballard s basic themes, never the less worthwhile.


  4. says:

    Many reviewers sneer at Super Cannes because they think the author J G Ballard repeated himself and said it better in his previous novels Since I haven t read them, I enjoyed this one very much.Super Cannes is a literary Art novel The plot is an imaginary, and dark, exploration about rewarding merit based achievements with opportunities to unleash racism and class cruelty I think this is a terribly flawed story however, I keep see sawing between three or four stars I think 4 stars will be where I ll settle, but I wish I could select three and a half stars The writing is stellar, even if the plot is far fetched, and the storyline is a strong kick in the head Our hero, a title which I hesitate to use for this morally challenged man, Paul Sinclair, a publisher of aviation journals, and his wife, Dr Jane Sinclair, a pediatrician scientist, move to a business park called Eden Olympia subtle, eh , near Cannes in France Eden Olympia is a gated community of extremely well educated professional workers, each primary and I mean primary adult and sometimes a spouse are employed by multinational companies whose offices are throughout the park alongside luxurious houses for the workers, given as part of the free premiums to which invited business elites are entitled These intellectually gifted elites have a work ethic which matches their business acumen it is a common to find them hard at work 24 7, finally stopping only when their libidos demand attention Paul is crippled, symbolically and in actual fact, having crashed his airplane His flying wings have been taken away because the accident was determined to have been due to his negligence His knees were severely injured as well He can walk, but an infection has set in and Paul is in constant pain He doesn t seem to be healing He hangs out at the pool resting his legs or takes long walks, while Jane works at what she considers her dream job, doing the research she has always wanted She is in her 20 s and he is much much older There are a lot of jokes regarding how Paul robbed the cradle They are also newlyweds, having met in the hospital during Paul s recovery Now they are here in Super Cannes, so called because of the implicit power and money residing within their walls She signs a 6 month contract, then another, as Paul begins to use his time to investigate a former friend s death By amazing coincidence, they live in the same house their friend, Dr David Greenwood, had lived in before he apparently went insane and went on a killing rampage, murdering 7 people Paul begins to see and hear disquieting things which make him suspicious of the official report of his friend s murder spree, especially because the security men who worked on Greenwood s case are definitely unsavory in their deportment There are cameras everywhere, so there must be recordings, but they ve never been seen, having disappeared Then he finds bullet shells where he shouldn t have, and he catches people in lies There is a definite coverup going on, but why Then, when he comes home after wandering about and having talked to people and seeing some terrible policing incidents with his own eyes, he finds Jane stupefied with injected drugs and he sees she had sex with a neighbor s wife Upon waking her, she is cheerful and happy, so he says and does nothing Part of Paul s reticence to become upset is he has shameful secrets of his own, view spoiler one being he loved beating up people in traditional hazing incidents when he was in the RAF and two, he is aware he became excited when prowling around a bad part of town where young girls were being prostituted by Russian gangsters, hide spoiler


  5. says:

    J.G Ballard established that architecture can drive you in crazy in High Rise, his 1975 novel in which residents of a new, luxury apartment tower degenerate into tribal warfare Super Cannes suggests that the proper response to the new, gated, planned business and residential communities he saw despoiling the Mediterranean French countryside he loved would be a form of orchestrated psychopathology.Paul and Jane Sinclair relocate from London to the Eden Olympia, where Jane will be on the medical staff available to the executives and employees of the multinational corporations that have built headquarters there I love the name, Eden Olympia It resonates with the sort of developer overkill that couldn t decide whether to evoke the innocence of the prelapsarian garden or the mountain home of the all powerful yet all so human gods Jane is a pediatrician brought there for a high paying job Paul is recovering from a flying accident.Of course all is not well in this paradise Jane is replacing David Greenwood, a British doctor who went on a suicidal killing spree To further complicate matters, Paul thinks that his much younger wife might have been Greenwood s lover years before in London Paul and Jane have also been given Greenwood s home for their new living quarters.With time on his hands, and not yet ready to settle into the routine of drugs and adultery that seems to keep other residents busy, Paul begins to explore He finds that the walking paths that meander the campus often end in cul de sacs or storage sheds once they disappear into the woods He is also drawn into solving the mystery of what went wrong with David Greenwood And since this is a J.G Ballard novel, Paul soon suspects that something actually went right with Greenwood Super Cannes earned an unlikely spot on the list of 100 Best Science Fiction Novels 1985 2010 The plot grows increasingly strange, but it is not really science fiction Readers approaching it that way are likely to be disappointed What it is is excellent late Ballard, a dark, funny, ultimately sickening maze that is a times fun to wander through and at other times a panic inducing cage.


  6. says:

    The first third or so of the novel is entrancing 5 star worthy stuff I loved the writing what I can only describe as smooth edged and contoured, or how about fluid and curvy and the budding premise was promising But things started sliding elegantly, style oblige into a faux detective thriller with too much investigation, description, and explanation without enough real examination of the damned premise.The premise A bit simplistic with some interesting correlations, although it is frustrating and irritating to see physical violence and sexual perversion automatically lumped into the general category of psychopathy we all know or should by now that psychopaths have a much wider array of choice manipulative behaviors to indulge in say, lying, cheating, embezzlement, and winning elections , so why automatically equate all transgressive acts with psychopathy Doc Wilder s therapy seems akin to slumming and adrenaline fixes to me.Nice writing, though, and plenty of evocation of smells, scents, odors, etc., from heady fragrances to feral funk I always appreciate a writer who uses his nose.


  7. says:

    Excellent Actively sought out bus trips to find reasons to not to anything else but read this book.


  8. says:

    Ballard was prescient, even prophetic Written in 2K, this novel is of the utmost actuality mass shootings, absence of a moral compass, populist and extreme right violence A magisterial explanation of our troubled and troubling times, Super Cannes enthralls with its hallucinatory descriptions and clear sighted sociological musings Man, this story ain t reassuring, but what a ride Using an ultra naturalistic narrative voice, Ballard builds a world that is both real and sci fi, convincing and entertaining, shocking and plausible It s The Drowned World meets Durkheim Yeah, I liked it Hope you do too.


  9. says:

    A business complex in Cannes is overtaken by a psychopathic philosophy that threatens a Third World War This is by the numbers Ballard perversities are explored, the veneer of wealth and success is lifted, and an underworld of crime and sickness among the middle classes is exposed The chunkiest of his novels, with an overabundance of waffling description, this a less successful work from the master of short form fiction and lean dystopia It also doesn t help that this novel is a retread of Cocaine Nights, moved from London to France and featuring few actual French people For completists.


  10. says:

    I think if I had a shelf called yech I would list this book on it I mean, really I got sick of hearing it I got sick of the sickos running this multi national business park called Eden Olympia What kind of a future were they creating There were no kids in the book except the shadow kids we hear about being used for sex There were so many films of crimes, both of sex and just beating the life out of Arabs and immigrants that it felt like a sick version of the Nixon White House and the Watergate scandal Sorry for insulting Nixon and his White House they were nothing compared to Eden Olympia But there are some parallels with taping and filming and with the official sanctioned government thugs In Eden Olympia the author calls these bands of executive thugs out for some fun the bowling team because they wear matching leather jackets Evidently beating people up really cleanses the psyche, releases tension and keeps them safe from viruses David Greenwood was a British doctor working at Eden Olympia One of those sainted types loved by everyone, working so hard, giving his all to both the population in Eden Olympia and the poor immigrant orphanage outside Eden Olympia One day he goes nuts and shoots a bunch of people What a crazy aberration Enter Dr Jane Sinclair, hired to replace Dr Greenwood, and her, at loose ends recovering from an injury, pilot husband Paul They are moved into Dr Greenwood s former home Dr Jane goes to work she does she is a paediatrician and there are no kids in Eden Olympia She doesn t even get to volunteer at the orphanage were Dr Greenwood worked, as all those nubile thirteen year old girls have gone elsewhere and Paul lounges around the pool wondering about Dr David Greenwood and his motivations for the murders.I never hear of anyone ever actually doing any work although there is plenty of talk about the terribly long hours and the need for recreation to satisfy the beast within No one in Eden Olympia wants to play games with balls Noooo, here they want to let loose the raging beast It is all OK because the Doctor in charge of mental health in Eden Olympia prescribes these activities as therapy In the meantime, Dr Jane is spending time with her prurient neighbors and her husband is channeling Dr David Greenwood Read it if you want, I don t recommend it.The author does have a way with words I was trying to read the book and ignore him at the same time, but he did amuse me sometimes It could be racist, or some mad animal rights thing Fanatical Greens always veer off course, and end up trying to save the smallpox virus On the other hand Everyone works hard it proves nothing People are impressionable, they snatch powerful emotions out of the air The one thing Eden Olympia doesn t need is its own Green movement Why doesn t anyone want to save the planet s concrete I guess it can look after itself Can it Penrose turned to stare at me, as if I had conveyed a unique insight.


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