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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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... his anxiety. Putting on a show, one accompanies oneself across the open space. The phobic person has learned that incapacity is not the same thing as non-existence, although it often feels like it. PaulCarter 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 ...
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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... You can object to Clark’s view – I do, and what’s more important my mother, who elects the government, does too – but you can tell exactly what he means at all times. He means business. What PaulCarter 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 ...

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 ...

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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... of the fatal impact of the newcomers on the indigenous inhabitants, as played out in a series of bloody encounters in New South Wales during the late 1830s, is the signal failure of the rule of law. PaulCarter’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 ...


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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... a sense of solidarity with the man who is suing me against the great army of lawyers whose pockets will 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 ...

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 there’s Cash out on the open road, the young virile male full of ambition and confusion and aggression; 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 ...

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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... Jencks points out in The Homeless, the solution of homelessness is simply housing, and housing can be provided by an enlightened and effective housing policy. The Australian playwright and historian PaulCarter 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 ...


Alan Hollinghurst

19 November 1981
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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... Michel Tournier’s Gemini was published 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 ...

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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... basic principle which drove him on was that important people make the important decisions, and even 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 ...
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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... million people in the world live in constant fear of starvation. Under the circumstances, it might 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 ...


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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... to the 21st century. Caryl builds his case around five overlapping stories, four about individuals 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 ...

Gang of Four

Christopher Driver

22 December 1983
The String Quartet: A History 
by Paul​ Griffiths.
Thames and Hudson, 240 pp., £12, October 1983, 9780500013113
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Gyorgy Ligeti 
by Paul​ Griffiths.
Robson, 128 pp., £8.95, October 1983, 0 86051 240 1
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... and Ezra Pound, to name two writers whose main preoccupations lay elsewhere. But in our own day almost all composition, and much performance, is virtually invulnerable to non-specialist critique. Paul Griffiths, who has already reached the C major of this life by becoming in his mid-thirties the chief music critic of the Times, himself specialises in 20th-century music. His useful short book on ...

Against the Current

Paul​ Rogers: British Sea Power

27 January 2020
... Agreement. When Oman’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos, died on 10 January, Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, 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 ...
20 November 1980
Mon Général 
by Olivier Guichard.
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Lettres, Notes et Carnets: Vol.1 1905-1918, Vol.2 1919-1940; 
by Charles de Gaulle.
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Le Colonel de Gaulle et les Blindés 
by Paul​ Huard.
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... the nicest prime minister we will never have, but Healey is not nice enough and his past bullying of 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 ...


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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... when poets could write in the grand manner all by themselves, can still contribute, provided he will 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 ...

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