Whatever else there is to be said about J G Ballard, he is surely the high priest of the swimming pool. Bleached empty pools appear over and over in his work (dating back, I suppose to the empty pools left behind in the international enclave in Shanghai as wealthy expats fled the advancing Japanese). In his hands they are wonderfully and seductively apocalyptic. No one else writes as he did about the glamour of annihilation.
But he has an eye for the full kind too, as here from Cocaine Nights:
Sprinklers sprayed across the lawns, conjuring rainbows from the overlit air, local deities performing their dances to the sun. Now and then the sea wind threw a faint spray across the swimming pools, and their mirror surfaces clouded like troubled dreams.
2 thoughts on “The high priest of swimming pools”
Hey Chris, not sure if you’re already aware, but Ben Wheatley is about to release an adaptation of High Rise later this year: http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=43380. Hopefully on interest.
I’ll look out for it, thanks.