Excerpt from RE/SEARCH’s J.G. Ballard Conversations book, pp 333-334
VALE: Do you like the outdoors?
J.G. BALLARD: I like SOME landscapes. Meadows and pastures are great for COWS, but I love the landscapes of Spain, for example — they’re much closer to a state of mind: red rocks . . . Their landscapes seem to SAY SOMETHING. I also like the landscape of the French Riviera. Rolling English meadows are not for me. [John] Constable country — not for me. What’s the landscape around San Francisco like? Basically what? Mountains? What’s the natural cover — pine-covered hills?
VALE: Bushes, shrubs, some trees.
J.G. BALLARD: Is there a lot of market gardening around there or is that further south in California? Commercial cauliflowers and cucumbers and tomatoes?
VALE: That’s further south.
J.G. BALLARD: You’ve got vines, of course — there are all those wineries, which means it’s fairly arid because vines like arid conditions. The coast is spectacular around there in Northern California, judging by what I see in newsreels and movies and from what I’ve heard. Friends of mine have told me that the Northern California coast takes some beating.
VALE: In London yesterday I passed a travel agency which advertised a round-trip ticket from London to Paris for 32 pounds [then, about $36 USDollars]
J.G. BALLARD: That’s amazing; I don’t know how they do it. Here’s the peculiar thing: TRAVEL, IN THE OLD-FASHIONED SENSE, HAS MORE OR LESS CEASED TO EXIST. WHAT WE HAVE NOW IS **TOURISM.**