In the middle of the Seventies, when J. G. Ballard was searching a way out from the trappings of traditional science fiction, trying to unveil the shifting connection between self, power and the urban environment, one of the most useful suggestions came to him from the other part of the Atlantic: it was the discovery of the so-called “defensible space”. The failure of the monumental project of Pruitt-Igoe, underlying the reflections of the american sociologist Oscar Newman, inspired one of the most important of his novels, High Rise (1975), and gave him two important working hypothesis: to conceive the identity as a struggle, in particular, as a struggle for territory; and to explore the paradoxes of the postmodern hyperspace starting from the edges of the city. That is the reason why in the next three decades of his career the suburbs have become the main setting of his books, from Running Wild to Kingdome Come. The theoretical model proposed by Newman was extremely important but, as we will demonstrate, it has been developed by the british writer in a original way, and in very different contexts. In the same way Ballard borrowed another framework from the north-american urban history – the model of the gated community – and adapted it to its needs, using this specific “form” to promote a creative reflection on the forthcoming societies of the new millennium. The study of this constant dialectic between urban models and conceptual frames developed at first in North America and their counterpart in Ballard’s production, with specific reference to the evolution of London’s outskirts, is the main focus of my paper. My intention is to highlight how the suburbs have represented, in the postmodern era, a privileged and ambiguous topos, a sort of “testing ground” for the refoundation of a premodern community in sharp contrast with the alienating society of the metropolis.
|Titolo:||From the «inner space» to the suburbs. The re-elaboration of North-American urban frameworks in J. G. Ballard’s novels|
|Rivista:||Narrativamente. Il primo psicofarmaco virtuale senza controindicazioni|
|Data di pubblicazione:||nov-2013|
|Citazione:||From the «inner space» to the suburbs. The re-elaboration of North-American urban frameworks in J. G. Ballard’s novels, 2013-11.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|
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