INTERLUDE ... UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR BUNKERS
[MH 23 November 2007]
Here's another variation in the text of AE -
In the second paragraph of "The Atrocity Exhibition", there's a list of seven items.
In the Flamingo (1993) edition it reads: "(1) Spectro-
But the original list (in New Worlds #166) read: "(1) Contour map of underground
bunkers, RSG 4, Berkshire; (2) Front elevation of balcony units, Hilton Hotel, London
; (3) Pyramidal Cell cross-
The Cape edition is the same as the current version except for a couple of minor differences. But the Doubleday edition matches *the original version*, except that 'Big Boy' is changed to 'Little Boy'.
However, the names of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-
[DP: 23 November 2007]
MH writes: Here's another variation in the text of AE -
Yes, that's fascinating. Thanks.
Funnily enough, I remember noticing the "Big Boy" to "Little Boy" change at some
point in the past. I recall noting that JGB had made a mistake there. After all,
Brian Aldiss had a story called "Another Little Boy" -
But I don't remember noticing the other changes -
1) Contour map of underground bunkers, RSG 4, Berkshire;
(3) Pyramidal Cell cross-
(6) Reproduction of Salvador Dali's "The Great Masturbator."
Now, I rather like all those -
I wonder if the Berkshire underground bunkers he refers to are the ones that the CND Easter marchers found, and publicized, in the early 1960s?
Where's the reference -
1963 April 12 (Good Friday) -
Is it _those_ particular bunkers Ballard was specifying?
[MH: 23 November 2006]
DP writes: Is it _those_ particular bunkers Ballard was specifying?
Searching the web reveals a detailed account of the Regional Seats of Government, including their locations, as well as a brief account of the "Spies for Peace" episode: http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/sfs/file5.htm
The demonstration was actually at RSG 6 at Warren Row, near Maidenhead, Berkshire.
So where was RSG 4, the one that JGB refers to? Well, it was in the old Regional War Rooms in Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge. Like most of the RSGs, it did not have sufficient room to house all the staff in time of emergency, so extra living and working space (without fallout protection) would be made available in nearby buildings. And where was this for RSG 4? ... "The support headquarters for RSG4 at Cambridge was ... to be The Leys School, a large imposing public school a few hundred yards from the main RSG site."
Either an amazing coincidence or, more likely, JGB had heard of the agreement with his old school and decided to be slightly less than accurate with his description.
[DP: 23 November 2006]
MH writes: Either an amazing coincidence or, more likely, JGB had heard of the agreement with his old school and decided to be slightly less than accurate with his description.
So, if there was more "personal significance" to that reference than we had realized, why did he cut it out?
[MH: 23 November 2006]
DP writes: So, if there was more "personal significance" to that reference than we had realized, why did he cut it out?
I'm also puzzled by the fact that the list was changed in the Cape edition but not the Doubleday edition, since presumably they were both being worked on at much the same time. (e.g. JGB mentions both publishers in one of those letters to Jannick Storm that were up for sale recently; in May '69 he wrote "I would very much like to use Reagan in both the British and American editions, but I can't see either Doubleday or Cape over here being prepared to include the story.")
The changes themselves are interesting because he replaces references to nuclear
bunkers, Auschwitz, and The Great Masturbator, with refs to a spectroheliograph,
a tribolite, and Garden Airplane Traps. The former are just what one might expect
in 'The Atrocity Exhibition' -
And that list appears in the second paragraph of the book, so maybe he thought it was important to give the 'right' feel to it at the outset.
[DP: 23 November 2006]
MH writes: So where was RSG 4, the one that JGB refers to? Well, it was in the old Regional War Rooms in Brooklands Avenue, Cambridge...
_Brooklands_ Avenue, eh? Ah, but what's in a name.
And what has become of that "RSG 4" nuclear bunker site? (So close to JGB's old school.)
It has now become an award-
Note the words: "The ... site had for years been regarded as an eyesore, with 50-
Why is it I sometimes get the feeling this whole world of ours has been dreamed by
JGB? He has written the entire script, and when he goes the whole of so-
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