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Hell is out of fashion -- institutional hells at any rate. The populated infernos of the 20th century are more private affairs, the gaps between the bars are the sutures of one's own skull. A valid hell is one from which there is a possibility of redemption, even if this is never achieved, the dungeons of an architecture of grace whose spires point to some kind of heaven. The institutional hells of the present century are reached with one-way tickets, marked Nagasaki and Buchenwald, worlds of terminal horror even more final than the grave.

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A bit about J. G. Ballard ...

James Graham Ballard (born November 15, 1930 in Shanghai) is a British writer. He was a prominent member of the New Wave in science fiction. His best known books are the controversial Crash, and the autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun, both of which have been adapted to film. The adjective "Ballardian", defined as "resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in JG Ballard's novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments", has been included in the Collins English Dictionary.

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