Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Theres a bit of commentary to this picture. I saw this as I'd been thinking about a JG Ballard story, Build-Up, which I'd been discussing with students.

It imagines a future when the city has spread so much that streets are numbered in millions, there are sleeper-elevators to get up the thousands of levels to the top floor, and space is a more precious commodity than diamonds or oil.

The central character dreams of space - but, never having experienced open or free space, can't find the words or images to visualise or express his longings. He dreams of flying and draws up plans for a flying machine - but can't begin to try and realise his dream without some space to fly in. He sets off on the tube train to look for open space. When he discovers that his journey east has now become a journey west, he realises that the whole earth has become one giant city. No space left. No possibility of flying.

Bleak, huh? what a miserable old thing JGB is at times. (allegedly)
hard to deny his brilliance tho.

So that, among other things, was in my head when I took this photo.


Pod said...

tis easy to foresee that happening outwardly and inwardly. i would love to see the world in 200 years, and i get annoyed that i won't, unless i live again of course. but i want to see it now! sleep tight (have you got it on?)

grumpy old woman said...

Mmmmmmmm, yes, food for thought ...


Reya Mellicker said...

Pod you are eternal. You can check in with that reality any time you want!! I'm sure you know that.

Lettuce: The whole idea of this novel makes me so claustrophobic. If I were you, I'd go throw the book in the river. For god's sake. Like you need these images right now!

Bird said...

quite a picture.

now - JG Ballard - is it a story or a novel? it sounds like something i could use in my comp class or my reading class. i love finding new material.

may i print the picture lettuce? i am tempted to use it as a visual text in my reading class. i will credit you as the photographer of course. (though i won't give the link - i don't like my students visitng blogs i visit - don't want them tracking me to my blog.)

Wendz said...

Now you see? This NOT ON. You just throw something deep and profound at me and I am NOT READY for this first thing in the ante meridian. Gah!

But...erm...I still love you...and really...what a great post. Never look at ladders the same way again though.

lettuce said...

Yes Pod - or even 100 years. Lets come back and visit together?
(no, not any more. ;p)

mmmmmm yes, GOW.... i need breakfast.

Reya - well, it is... but it makes me appreciate the green spaces round here a whole lot more.

Bird - yes, go ahead! I'll leave details over at your place.

Wendz - sorry. it was post meridian when I posted it. Probably about time for some trivial posts though.....

Pod said...

i am sure we shall meet on the icerink again ;0)

Reya Mellicker said...

If it makes you feel better, by all means, read on. The description of the story was so grim - yikes! Sometimes I am so relieved to be growing older.

Joyce said...

oooh, you lucky thing! You found the ladder from "here" to "there"!!

Nabeel said...

wow, what a tall ladder, as a kid, i used to climb so many ladders.