The Poetics of Agoraphobia
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Taking as his starting-point the fact that Freud himself was agoraphobic, and analyzing the way people have negotiated open spaces from Greek and Roman times to the present day, Paul Carter finds that "space fear" ultimately results from the inhibition of movement. Along the way, the author asks why Freud repressed his agoraphobia, and examines literature, the work of architects and theorists – including Le Corbusier, Walter Benjamin and R. D. Laing – artists such as Munch, Lapique and Giacometti, and the German "street films" of the 1920s. He concludes by proposing a new way of regarding open space, a new "poetics of agoraphobia", one that is sensitive to the agoraphobe’s point of view and provides lessons for architects and urban planners today.