Spiros's Reviews > Concrete Island

Concrete Island by J.G. Ballard
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Aug 06, 14

bookshelves: citylights, cantbelieveineverread, londoncalling
Recommended to Spiros by: T. Ja
Recommended for: those who believe in Purgatory
Read in April, 2009

Right now I am busily racking my brains, trying to recall any Ballard references in Peter Ackroyd's books on London's literary history. The central motif of this novel chimes with the main conceit of Ackroyd's novels and non-fiction; namely, that London is an anachronistic construct, a palimpsest, in which any stratum may be scratched to expose an older level on the same space.
I find it difficult to say anything coherent about this work; I was left with two main thoughts: the anti-Rousseauean conception of salvation achieved through ascending from a pastoral lea (of malignant grass, no less) up to the asphalt of the Westway; and Maitland's Prospero-like determination only to leave his island of exile on his own terms.
This gibberance is what happens when I am busily racking my brains, for which I apologize.
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