Illusion and Compensation: Heterotopic Aspects of Gated Communities in J. G. Ballard’s Fiction
Gated communities have come to mean more than simple building structures and their predominantly negative cultural representation has become somewhat of a commonplace trope in literature and urban studies. This paper sets out to explore the assumptions underpinning the overwhelmingly dystopian representations of gated communities in literature and culture. This inquiry will be carried out with reference to J. G. Ballard’s depictions of gated communities in his later work, particularly in Cocaine Nights (1996) and Super Cannes (2000) and will be carried out within the context of Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia. It will be the contention of this paper that gated communities can also be construed as providing a heterotopic zone of subversive topography, which serves not to reinforce, but in fact challenge the dominant urban setting.
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