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Platz Angst

David Trotter: Agoraphobia, 24 July 2003

Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia 
by Paul Carter.
Reaktion, 253 pp., £16.95, November 2002, 1 86189 128 8
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... learned that incapacity is not the same thing as non-existence, although it often feels like it. Paul Carter would probably count himself among those who consider agoraphobia a proportionate response to the escalating dangers of modern life. In his view, the anxiety it articulates is collective and realistic. But he insists that any attempt to grasp its ...

Bullshit and Beyond

Clive James, 18 February 1988

The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... does too – but you can tell exactly what he means at all times. He means business. What Paul Carter means in The Road to Botany Bay is either something more profound or else nothing at all. Unless I am a Dutchman, he means the latter, but I should say, before hacking into it, that his book comes laden with wreaths of praise, a true ...

A New Kind of Being

Jenny Turner: Angela Carter, 3 November 2016

The Invention of Angela CarterA Biography 
by Edmund Gordon.
Chatto, 544 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 7011 8755 2
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... In​ 2006, the British Library bought a huge archive of Angela Carter’s papers from Gekoski, the rare books dealer, for £125,000.* It includes drafts, lots of them, a reminder that in the days before your computer automatically date-stamped all your files book-writing used to be a clerical undertaking. It has Pluto Press Big Red Diaries from the 1970s, and a red leatherette Labour Party one, tooled with the pre-Kinnock torch, quill and shovel badge ...

Founding Moments

Stuart Macintyre, 11 March 1993

The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. II, 1770-1860: Possessions 
by Jan Kociumbas.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 19 554610 5
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The Rule of Law in a Penal Colony: Law and Power in Early New South Wales 
by David Neal.
Cambridge, 266 pp., £30, March 1992, 9780521372640
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Waterloo Creek: The Australia Day Massacre of 1838, George Gipps and the British Conquest of New South Wales 
by Roger Milliss.
McPhee Gribble, 965 pp., February 1992, 0 86914 156 2
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Living in a New Country: History, Travelling and Language 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 214 pp., £14.99, July 1992, 0 571 16329 7
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... encounters in New South Wales during the late 1830s, is the signal failure of the rule of law. Paul Carter’s essays offer a far-reaching re-evaluation of the processes of cultural transference triggered by the act of migration. The most familiar of the books in form and scope is that of Kociumbas, whose brief was to write the first post-Aboriginal ...

Magic Zones

Marina Warner, 8 December 1994

Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilisation 
by Richard Sennett.
Faber, 413 pp., £25, October 1994, 9780571173907
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... provided by an enlightened and effective housing policy. The Australian playwright and historian Paul Carter has written eloquently on the settlement of the Yarra River and early colonial building in what became Melbourne; it would have been interesting to explore this. The opening up of Paris during the Revolution and the Second Empire, which Sennett ...

Bunfights

Paul Foot, 7 March 1991

Memoirs of a Libel Lawyer 
by Peter Carter Ruck.
Weidenfeld, 293 pp., £20, November 1990, 0 297 81022 7
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... be full whatever the result. No one has made more money from this branch of the law than Peter Carter-Ruck, so I opened his book eagerly to find some answers to questions which have always puzzled me. What, to start with, is the philosophy, the raison d’être of the law of libel? Mr Carter-Ruck answers the question ...

Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash, 9 March 2006

The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... then comes the encounter with the goddess-figure embodying both purity and danger (June Carter, played with great enthusiasm and almost entirely with her teeth by Reese Witherspoon); and in the end, of course, rescue. Mangold’s Cash is no saint; he’s Odysseus. We shouldn’t take any of these stories, Christian or Greek, at face value. In ...

Jean-Paul

Alan Hollinghurst, 19 November 1981

Gemini 
by Michel Tournier, translated by Anne Carter.
Collins, 452 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 00 221448 2
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The Death of Men 
by Allan Massie.
Bodley Head, 249 pp., £6.50, October 1981, 0 370 30339 3
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Tar Baby 
by Toni Morrison.
Chatto, 309 pp., £6.95, October 1981, 0 7011 2596 9
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... in France six years ago under the title of Les Météores, but it arrives in this country, in Anne Carter’s convincing and sometimes virtuosic translation, with none of the trumpeting which announced his earlier triumphs, Friday and The Erl King. All his publishers have managed to come up with is an ambiguous commendation from Genet: ‘An ...

Noovs’ hoovs in the trough

Angela Carter, 24 January 1985

The Official Foodie Handbook 
by Ann Barr and Paul Levy.
Ebury, 144 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 85223 348 5
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An Omelette and a Glass of Wine 
by Elizabeth David.
Hale, 318 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7090 2047 3
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Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook 
by Alice Waters, foreword by Jane Grigson .
Chatto, 340 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7011 2820 8
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... indeed make good 20th-century sense to worship food, but punters of ‘foodism’ (as Ann Barr and Paul Levy jokily dub this phenomenon) are evidently not about to drop to their knees because they are starving.‘Foodies’, according to Barr and Levy, are ‘children of the consumer boom’ who consider ‘food to be an art, on a level with painting or ...

Dirty Money

Paul Foot, 17 December 1992

A Full Service Bank: How BCCI stole millions around the world 
by James Ring Adams and Douglas Frantz.
Simon and Schuster, 381 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 671 71133 4
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Bankrupt: The BCCI Fraud 
by Nick Kochan and Bob Whittington.
Gollancz, 234 pp., £4.99, November 1991, 0 575 05279 1
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The BCCI Affair: A Report to The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 
by Senators John Kerry and Hank Brown.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 800 pp., September 1992
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Inquiry into the Supervision of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International 
by Lord Justice Bingham.
HMSO, 218 pp., £19.30, October 1992, 0 10 219893 4
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... the most important people have their price. The price for Bert Lance, a close friend of President Carter, and briefly a member of Carter’s Administration, was obvious. Poor Bert had got into trouble with his own bank at home in Georgia and owed about three million dollars. Abedi lent him the three million. It was never ...

The Silences of General de Gaulle

Douglas Johnson, 20 November 1980

Mon Général 
by Olivier Guichard.
Grasset
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Lettres, Notes et Carnets: Vol.1 1905-1918, Vol.2 1919-1940; 
by Charles de Gaulle.
Plon
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Le Colonel de Gaulle et les Blindés 
by Paul Huard.
Plon
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... the unions has lost him their enthusiasm if not their support. Foot is romantic, Healey pragmatic. Carter appealed because he was able to show how he had assumed all the complicated burdens of office, but Reagan appealed because he was able to show himself as a direct man who had the determination to dominate and solve problems. ...

Against the Current

Paul Rogers: British Sea Power, 6 February 2020

... the current defence secretary, Ben Wallace, and the chief of the armed forces, General Sir Nick Carter, were quick to fly out. The new defence accord is surely the reason. Qaboos had ruled for half a century and was treated as a benign head of state by UK governments and the media – if not by Amnesty International, which has consistently drawn attention ...

Counter-Counter-Revolution

David Runciman: 1979, 26 September 2013

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century 
by Christian Caryl.
Basic, 407 pp., £19.99, June 2013, 978 0 465 01838 3
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... and one about a country. The people are Thatcher, Deng Xiaoping, Ayatollah Khomeini and Pope John Paul II. The place is Afghanistan. The year 1979 mattered to all of them. It was the year Thatcher won her first general election. The year Deng embarked on the economic reforms that would transform China. The year the Iranian Revolution swept Khomeini to ...

Upstaging

Paul Driver, 19 August 1993

Shining Brow 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 86 pp., £5.99, February 1993, 0 571 16789 6
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... take the pains to learn the métier and is lucky enough to find a composer he can believe in’. Paul Muldoon, who ranks with Auden as a poet for whom the intricacies of verse and rhyme are endless and masterable, and who lives in America, as Auden did, has written a libretto for a composer of whom I confess I haven’heard. He is Daron Aric Hagen, and ...

Absurdities

Angela Carter, 2 July 1981

Original Sins 
by Lisa Alther.
Women’s Press, 608 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7043 2839 9
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Amateur Passions 
by Lorna Tracy.
Virago, 192 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 86068 197 1
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... Wejuns and L.L. Bean down vests. Nevertheless, both writers share a dominant theme – that of, in Paul Goodman’s phrase, ‘growing up absurd’ in the US: growing up under Male Anglo-Saxon Protestant hegemony in a world where the minorities, defined either by sex or race, considerably outnumber the alleged majority. Lorna Tracy approaches the matter like ...

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