J. G. Ballard: High-Rise

(1196 words)

Ballard's novel High-Rise (1975) begins three months after a series of unusual events in which the inhabitants of a London tower block descend into barbarity and madness. Robert Laing, a medical doctor and a key figure in the novel, is sitting on the balcony of his apartment reflecting on the event that first signalled this return to primordial being: the explosive appearance of a champagne bottle knocked onto his 25th floor veranda from a party taking place six floors above. This striking image ā€“ a representation of civility falling into violence and self-destruction ā€“ provides the framing idea for a story concerned with atavistic degeneration, violence and psychological breakdown, urban space and its effects uā€¦

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Waddell, Nathan. "High-Rise". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 January 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4753, accessed 26 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Dystopian and Apocalyptic Fiction