Terror and Illusion of the Consumerist Utopia in J. G. Ballard’s "Super-Cannes"

By Min-kyoung Kim.

Published by Journal of Communication and Media Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 6, 2016 $US5.00

In "Super-Cannes" J. G. Ballard depicts the violence in an affluent consumer society under global capitalism from a post-apocalyptic viewpoint. Envisioning the crisis of consumer capitalism at the turn of the millennium, this novel portrays terror and illusion in a consumerist utopia, Eden-Olympia. In the hyper-reality of Eden-Olympia, reality and fiction are reversed, and terror becomes fiction and finally simulacra. Hyper-reality, in contemporary consumer society, can be created by images in mass media and advertising, which have been dedicated to consumerism; and transnational mass media functions as a crucial cultural-ideological aspect of the global system, promoting the expansion of consumption. In this consumer society, when people watch terror via the mass media, violence is transformed into spectacle and finally simulacra in hyper-reality, which mass media generates through image. Hence, the consumer society encourages people in the illusion that they are safe from terror. Drawing on a Baudrillardian viewpoint, this article will explore how the terror and illusion of a consumer society is presented in "Super-Cannes," and examine violence as image in consumer capitalism, focusing on the Western world.

Keywords: Consumer Society, Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra, Super-Cannes

The Journal of Communication and Media Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, December, 2016, pp.11-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 6, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 595.522KB)).

Min-kyoung Kim

PhD Candidate, Department of English Language and Literature, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea