the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

bllard on melancholic vacations

Posted by rigorousm on November 7, 2011

Fragmentation. For Tallis, this period in the apartment was a time of increasing fragmentation. A pointless vacation had led him by some kind of negative logic to the small resort on the sand bar. In his faded cotton suit he had sat for hours at the tables of closed cafes, but already his memories of the beach had faded. The adjacent apartment block screened the high wall of the dunes. The young woman slept for most of the day and the apartment was silent, the white volumes of the rooms extending themselves around him. Above all, the whiteness of the walls obsessed him.


False Space and Time of the Apartment. These planes found their rectilinear equivalent in the apartment. The right angles between the walls and ceiling were footholds in a valid system of time, unlike the suffocating dome of the planetarium expressing its infinity of symmetrical boredom. He watched Karen Novotny walk through the rooms, relating the movements of her thighs and hips to the architectonics of floor and ceiling. This cool-limbed young woman was a modulus; by multiplying her into the space and time of the apartment he would obtain a valid unite of existence.

Suite Mentale. Conversely, Karen Novotny found in Tallis a visible expression of her own mood of abstraction, that growing entropy which had begun to occupy her life in the deserted beach resort since the season’s end. She had been conscious for some days of an increasing sense of disembodiment, as if her limbs and musculature merely established the residential context of her body. She cooked for Tallis, and washed his suit. Over the ironing board she watched his tall figure interlocking with the dimensions and angles of the apartment. Later, the sexual act between them was a dual communion between themselves and the  continuum of time and space which they occupied.


— J G Ballard, “You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe,” The Atrocity Exhibition


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