What the corona virus has most fervently demonstrated to us, is that we don’t want to be isolated. We want to be out there – meeting friends, and strangers!
On that note - take the opportunity to introduce a highly relevant short story by JG Ballard to your students. Turn to page 162 in E2, where you will find “The Intensive Care Unit”. You can download E2 Smartbok for free here https://www.smartbok.no/Videregaaende/Engelsk
In April 2020 Mark O’Connell wrote the following in New Statesman:
“There are certain writers who, once you’ve read them, forever take possession of some part of your experience of the world. If you’re enduring sustained exposure to a confoundingly complex bureaucracy? That’s Kafka. Going anywhere or doing anything or talking to anyone in Dublin? Joyce. Feeling bored and sort of fancily anxious and also for some reason harassed by the wind in Southern California? That would be Joan Didion, obviously. But the writer who owns the largest part of the world right now is JG Ballard. He might not be as great a writer as those just mentioned, but much of our present reality now falls within the jurisdiction of Ballard’s imagination.
Especially now that life is presided over by a lethal viral pandemic, it’s hard to even glance at the news without coming across a story that could be the result of some kind of Ballard-inspired role-playing exercise. A luxury cruiseliner quarantined in San Francisco bay, its well-heeled passengers confined to their cabins for weeks on end. Holidaymakers on lockdown at a quarantined hotel in Tenerife after an Italian doctor comes down with coronavirus. A world of isolated individuals rarely leaving their homes, keeping a wary distance from one another in public, communicating with their friends and loved ones via exclusively technological means. These situations are so Ballardian as to be in the realm of copyright infringement.”