By Amos Oz

ISBN-10: 0547751990

ISBN-13: 9780547751993

Seven years after their divorce, Ilana breaks the sour silence with a letter to Alex, a world-renowned authority on fanaticism, begging for aid with their rebellious adolescent son, Boaz. One letter ends up in one other, and so evolves a correspondence among Ilana and Alex, Alex and Michel (Ilana's Moroccan husband), Alex and his Mephistophelian Jerusalem lawyer—a correspondence among mom and dad, stepfather and stepson, father and son, every one pleading his or her personal case.

The greedy, lyrical, manipulative, loving Ilana has stirred issues up. Now, her former husband and her current husband became competitors not just for her loyalty yet for her son's in addition.

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Ballard's third novel, The Drought,4 may be seen as the complementary opposite of The Drowned World, for despite the diametrical nature of the cataclysms that form the basis of the respective stories, the two novels are mutually reflective, enhancing and underlining each other's meaning through common technical and thematic elements and patterns of imagery. Perhaps the most A Catechism of Cataclysm 51 central of these is the opposition in both novels of images of sea and land, of water and earth, with their corresponding symbolic suggestions of the unconscious and the conscious mind.

In the end, liberty, individuality, life itself are forfeit to illusion. The problem of illusion also informs the story "Minus One,"18 in which Ballard portrays the motives that cause and sustain The Dimension of the Disaster 23 illusion and the intense resistance of illusion to correction or contradiction. Appropriately, the story is set at Green Hill Asylum, a maximum-security mental institution of the sort that, as the narrator informs us, "in effect serve the role of private prisons" (95). After the escape of a patient named James Hinton, and following a futile search for him, the director of the asylum, Dr.

Overcoming his antagonist, the main character also resolves his self-dividedness and achieves psychic integration. There are obvious parallels here with the anima and shadow figures of Jungian psychology, and with Carl Jung's theory of the individuation process. In this sense Ballard's fictions are psychic myths, a working out in symbolic terms of our common psychological/spiritual predicament. Ballard's third novel, The Drought,4 may be seen as the complementary opposite of The Drowned World, for despite the diametrical nature of the cataclysms that form the basis of the respective stories, the two novels are mutually reflective, enhancing and underlining each other's meaning through common technical and thematic elements and patterns of imagery.

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Black Box by Amos Oz


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