I am presenting this paper at the annual Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) conference at SUNY Stonybrook, NY, June 25-27, 2015.
Abstract: JG Ballard is not known for his sensitive or nuanced portrayal of women. Yet in this paper I will pose the question: If we re-examine his classic 1962 novel, The Drowned World, can we find a powerful and admirable female character in the form of Beatrice Dahl?
In order to answer this question I will read between the lines of this canonical Science Fiction text to expose Beatrice’s hitherto marginalized history and liminal strength.
I will carefully mine the actual text for clues, then, using a strategy employed by both fan-fiction and post-colonial literature (see for example Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs and The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys), I will write an imaginary chapter into the existing plot framework of The Drowned World in order to reveal the complexity of Beatrice’s character.
Read my complete ‘missing’ Chapter 3.5 here: