Beautiful and eerie...(and that's just the covers): there's something unsettling about the onset of twilight in these paintings, as if sunset is a metaphor for something. What exactly, I'm not quite sure...
The lengthening of shadows is used by Dali and De Chirico (Ballard also touches on this in "The Day of Forever": At Columbine Sept Heures it was always dusk...) as an artistic mechanism for representing the day's inevitable creep towards Dreamtime. Sunset, the slooow end of day, is an uncomfortable reminder of our own Mortality; it also represents a possible entry-point into Mythic Archetype-Space...wh/ is particularly appropriate in this instance, as these images are stylised/idealised representations of a West That Never Actually Existed...so, like De Chirico's best work, they are populated by a peculiar kind of melancholy, a sense of loss for something that never was; a place that we can never enter, except in dreams and books and via Hollywood False Memory Syndrome (cf w/ 1930's SF: Dikto-esque utopian cities, mono-rails, silver-haired space-empresses...we wuz cheated and robbed, sold a Future we could never have...)
The rips, tears and creases in the cover, the 'bad', unnaturalistic artwork all seem to conspire to deny us entry to a 'Perfect' Past.
So beautiful and eerie, these bruised skies that we can never know.