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The European Circuit: Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/09/2016
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)21-34
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


‘The European Circuit’ considers the influence of European modernism on the New Wave of science fiction, in particular Brian Aldiss’s Report on Probability A and Barefoot in the Head (both 1969), and it takes as its focus the car journey and the car crash, recurrent motifs in Barefoot in the Head, Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition (1969) – a collection of ‘condensed novels’ – and Crash (1973). It will draw upon Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto as well as following Ballard’s use of Jarry’s ‘The Passion considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race’ in the Atrocity Exhibition story ‘The Assassination of President Kennedy as a Downhill Motor Race’ in mashing up the bicycle/ motor race, sacrifice, the apocalyptic/ catastrophe, and the transcendent. This chapter completes the ‘circuit’ of the assassination narrative, placing it in European literary and cultural contexts.