From xradiograph

WordSalad: Invisible Literature



I [James G. Ballard] have always been a voracious reader of what I call invisible literatures - scientific journals, technical manuals, pharmaceutical company brochures, think-tank internal documents, PR company position papers - part of that universe of published material to which most literate people have scarcely any access but which provides the most potent compost for the imagination [...]


My copy of the Los Angeles Yellow Pages I stole from the Beverly Hilton Hotel three years ago; it has been a fund of extraordinary material, as surrealist in its way as Dali’s autobiography.


Well, I’ll try certainly try within the next 10 years. Currently busy working my way through the Los Angeles Yellow Pages, the latest IKEA catalogue, the Operation Paget findings, a research report on outer suburban high-rise housing, a sex manual for incontinents, a few company reports (mainly businesses dealing in storm drains and aluminum cladding for houses) and a report on salinity in the Melbourne wetlands, all in order to understand Ballard more.


That’s the trouble with invisible literature — it never ends. There is no canon.
[citation updated to archive from the original’s dead link]

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