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The Atrocity Exhibition
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The Atrocity Exhibition

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Alternate Title: Love and Napalm: Export USA
Author: J. G. Ballard
Publisher: Grove Press, 1972
Jonathan Cape, 1970
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Book Type: Collection
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic
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Synopsis

The irrational, all-pervading violence of the modern world is the subject of this extraordinary tour de force.

The central character's dreams are haunted by images of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, dead astronauts and car-crash victims as he traverses the screaming wastes of nervous breakdown. Seeking his sanity, he casts himself in a number of roles: H-bomber pilot, presidential assassin, crash victim, psychopath. Finally, through the black, perverse magic of violence he transcends his psychic turmoil to find the key to a bizarre new sexuality.

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Excerpt

From Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan:

Ronald Reagan and the conceptual auto-disaster. Numerous studies have been conducted upon patients in terminal paresis (G. P. I.), placing Reagan in a series of simulated auto-crashes, e.g. multiple pile-ups, head-on collisions, motorcade attacks (fantasies of Presidential assassinations remained a continuing preoccupation, subjects showing a marked polymorphic fixation on windshields and rear trunk assemblies). Powerful erotic fantasies of an anal-sadistic character surrounded the image of the Presidential contender. Subjects were required to construct the optimum auto-disaster victim by placing a replica of Reagan's head on the unretouched photographs of crash fatalities. In 82 percent of cases massive rear-end collisions were selected with a preference for expressed faecal matter and rectal haemorrhages.

Motion picture studies of Ronald Reagan reveal characteristic patterns of facial tonus and musculature associated with homo-erotic behaviour. The continuing tension of buccal sphincters and the recessive tongue role tally with earlier studies of facial rigidity (cf., Adolf Hitler, Nixon). Slow-motion cine-films of campaign speeches exercised a marked erotic effect upon an audience of spastic children. Even with mature adults the verbal material was found to have minimal effect, as demonstrated by substitution of an edited tape giving diametrically opposed opinions. Parallel films of rectal images revealed a sharp upsurge in anti-Semitic and concentration camp fantasies.

Incidence of orgasms in fantasies of sexual intercourse with Ronald Reagan. Patients were provided with assembly kit photographs of sexual partners during intercourse. In each case Reagan's face was superimposed upon the original partner. Vaginal intercourse with 'Reagan' proved uniformly disappointing, producing orgasm in 2 percent of subjects. Axillary, buccal, navel, aural and orbital modes produced proximal erections. The preferred mode of entry overwhelmingly proved to be the rectal. After a preliminary course in anatomy it was found that caecum and transverse colon also provided excellent sites for excitation. In an extreme 12 percent of cases, the simulated anus of post-colostomy surgery generated spontaneous orgasm in 98 percent of penetrations. Multiple-track cine-films were constructed of 'Reagan' in intercourse during (a) campaign speeches, (b) rear-end auto-collisions with one- and three-year-old model changes, (c) with rear-exhaust assemblies, (d) with Vietnamese child-atrocity victims.

Copyright © 1970 by J. G. Ballard


Reviews

The Atrocity Exhibition

- ed.rybicki
  (4/7/2015)
The Atrocity Exhibition aka Love and Napalm: ...

- justifiedsinner
  (5/29/2015)

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