J.G.Ballard and The Edinburgh Riviera

From Will Self’s Psychogeography:

“I now realise…that Jim [Ballard], has made this Thames littoral his own…he is the purest psychogeographer of us all, ever dissolving the particular and the historical in the transient and the psychic. Making states into states of mind. From Terry Farrell’s spec office block – now occupied by the Secret Service – to Chelsea Harbour, and on upriver, the last fifteen years have seen a great and glassy burgeoning of these – Jim’s mind children – ‘luxury’ developments. At first rectilinear and concrete, latterly faced with ‘weathered’ boards, to give them that authentic ‘wharf’ feel, the apartments would be just as at home in Malmö or on the Mediterranean”

Will Self, Psychogeography, (London: Bloomsbury, 2007), p. 25.

From any suitable vantage point on the south Fife coastline, you can take in the vista of the stillborn ‘Edinburgh Riviera’.  A monument to pre-credit crunch architectural and financial hubris; a jamboree of two-bit, debt fuelled, property hustlers offering up their ‘luxury developments’ with status dripping names such as Platinum Point.  Come and enjoy your outdoor balcony and sun yourself to a crisp.  This triumph of hope and denial over meteorological reality, means that you are more likely to end up with a face like a skelped erse from the wind chill.   Now many of these ‘developments’ sit lugubriously, half-finished, and barely occupied behind their security fences. A post-industrial interzone, of deflated citadels still waiting for the sun.

Now playing: Brainticket, Psychonaut.

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