Thursday, 24 January 2013

#14 SALON SOUTH WEST: 'The Smile'

- Thurs 17th February, 4:30pm, Wongles Tea Room, Plymouth

A live reading of 'The Smile' by J G Ballard from an original copy of issues 6 of Bananas, the short-lived literary newspaper where it was first published in 1976.

(All photos courtesy of Beth Richards)

'The Smile' is the first-person narrative of an unnamed man's growing attachment to a young woman he sees in an old antique shop. The story is in many ways untypical Ballard; domestic and romantic, sentimental even, albeit with a familiar sharp eye for the absurd and irrational and our creeping proximity to some kind of fatalistic collapse.

Wanting to choose an appropriate location for the reading we settled on somewhere on The Barbican, the historic cobbled marina area with it's faded popularity, overlooked back streets and idiosyncratic character.

(Above: Cover design of Issue #6 of Bananas)

This was my second public reading of 'The Smile'. The first was at Spike Island in Bristol, UK, as part of a 'White Out', a day of events around the exhibition 'Nanoq: Flat Out an Bluesome' by Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson where ten taxidermised polar bears from collections around the country were gathered into the exhibition space.

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