Four Text Collages [Project for a New Novel]

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 58 Add MS 88938/3/3
  • Alternative Id.
      (ark) ark:/81055/vdc_100000001245.0x0001fb
  • Dates of Creation
      [c 1958]
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 file

Scope and Content

Four horizontal sheets (each 250 x 400mm, and each consisting of two sheets glued together at their vertical central edges). The sheets display, in a graphic style typical of text-based advertisements or display prose, various extracts of printed text cut and pasted onto backing sheets.

The pasted elements comprise individual letters, individual words, and sentence fragments, that combine to form semantically discontinuous textual units. The source material is of a technical and scientific character, derived from professional literature from chemical and engineering industries. The sheets incorporate fonts of variable size, suggesting the visual shapes of headline and body text.

The sheets are not numbered, but have been numbered in the catalogue as A-D.

They can be seen displayed in the background of a photograph of Ballard taken in 1960 in his garden at Shepperton (photograph in Add MS 88938/1/12/3) where they appear in the following sequence:

  • (A) sheet beginning (top left): 'zero synthesis';
  • (B) sheet beginning (top left): 'am: beach hamlet';
  • (C) sheet beginning (top left): 'T-1';
  • (D) sheet beginning (top right): 'time probe'.

The four collages were first published in New Worlds, No. 213 (1978), and are reproduced in Re/Search, No. 8/9 (1984): 'J G Ballard', pp. 38-40.

Conditions Governing Access


Not Public Record(s)