PRINT March 1997

J.G. Ballard

AH: In Crash (1973) and The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), you list perversions, mutilations, and unfortunate intersections between flesh and metal. One gets the sense that these could be medical journals written for psychopaths. Did you borrow this clinical tone from your experience as a medical student?

JB: Oh, I think so. The couple of years I spent as a medical student influenced, and goes on influencing, my fiction. I don’t think I could have written either of those books without my medical experience. Anatomy and physiology seem to be a wonderful storehouse of images and metaphors of every conceivable kind, and much closer to the sort of truth of what I was trying to reach than anything I could find anywhere else, in literary sources or what have you.

AH: Did that enable you to approach the most extreme forms of bodily damage with a calm perspective? For instance, I have a friend in

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