Doctor-anarchists in class warBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39344.549931.59 (Published 27 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:673
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
There is no more distinguished a writer in Britain today than J G Ballard, who was briefly a medical student but gave up to become a writer. He was born in Shanghai in 1930, but was interned in a Japanese camp there in 1943. Having previously lived the comfortable life of the rich and privileged expatriate in a poor country, he became sensitive as no one else in contemporary letters to the fragility of our well ordered existence.
Many of his books record the barbarism that lies just below the surface of our apparently civilised conduct, and that our highly technological society favours because of its tendency to isolate us emotionally from one another. Ballard is the prophet of social …