Monday, January 28, 2008


JG Ballard reports that his notorious novel Crash, was inspired by a belief in the existence of a "strong connection between sexuality and the car crash, a fusion largely driven by the cult of celebrity." Perhaps this extract does Ballard a disservice, but there is nothing here to support such a belief. The two primary human instincts are the survival instinct and the reproductive instinct, and these instincts explain why so much of our culture revolves around violence and sex, respectively. But it seems reasonable to think that car crashes are associated with violence and death, rather than sex. I'm not really sure what Ballard's argument or evidence is to support his assertion, but it seems to be that there was a bit of a fuss when he organised an exhibition of crashed automobiles, and hired a topless model to be in close attendance. Curious, but hardly convincing...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But, Gordon, surely you miss the point. We are all Freudians now and when anyone of artistic or scientific stature posits a connection between sex and anything else, there is no basis for gainsaying it, no matter how weird it sounds. It is the equivalent of a medieval type trying to respond to a priest insisting something is God's will. You can only mutter privately in response until the zeitgeist shifts.

Like you, I think the idea of a connection between car crashes and sex is ridiculous. However, surely the connection between sex and purple Quality Streets is staring us in the face?