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"Answers to a questionnaire" by James Graham Ballard

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  1. The characters
  2. The conception about the reader
  3. The way that this story is built
  4. The interpretations

Answers to a Questionnaire' is a short story which was written by James Graham Ballard, and published for the first time in the English literary magazine 'Ambit', in 1985. Ballard's style of writing is highly important to understand his works, he is a member of the 'New Wave' in science fiction. His stories often represent and explore characters seemingly normal, but who are actually horrendous and violent sex maniacs. Ballard also considers the reader as an active part of the reading process in literature. This conception about the reader allows a new type of narrative patterns. As a brief introduction to this short story, we can say that it is a list of answers to a questionnaire of which the questions remain unknown to the reader. Over the 100 questions of this short story, the reader is allowed to find out what all of this is about, within the apparent chaos. It is obvious that a new narrative thread is being applied in this short story. The narrative thread set up by Ballard calls into question the way the text should interact with the reader. We will see what this narrative structure means to the reader.

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