e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Speeding to the Doldrums: Stalled Futures and the Disappearance of Tomorrow in “The Dead Astronaut”

Warstat, AFH (2016) Speeding to the Doldrums: Stalled Futures and the Disappearance of Tomorrow in “The Dead Astronaut”. In: J.G. Ballard : Landscapes of Tomorrow. Brill/Rodopi. ISBN 9789004313859

[img]
Preview

Download (405kB) | Preview

Abstract

This chapter discusses how J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Dead Astronaut” is fixated on a melancholic and alienated future that never arrived. The narrative is, literally, a disaster story, containing astral traces of a dead or absent future. In Ballard’s tale the protagonist’s return to this stalled future is premised on the absence or impossibility of a primal scene to return to: the future is inaccessible and has yet to happen. Instead of productively mourning one particular version of the future (which might then provoke further futures), the story melancholically reiterates a stalled, traumatic process of nachträglichkeit or “coming after.” What, the chapter asks, does Ballard’s story tell us about our impulsion or compulsion towards the future? Is the text the narrative of an interminable post-modern stasis, of “dialectics at a standstill”? Or does it allegorise what happens in the commodification of the future?

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
107Downloads
218Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item