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Dimensions:
234 × 156 mm
304 pages
Format:
Paperback with flaps
ISBN:
9781861890900
Illustrations:
100 illustrations
Published:
01 Apr 2001
Series:
Topographics
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Airspaces David Pascoe

As mass air transport shrinks the world and requires airport complexes large enough to be regarded as self-contained cities, this book argues that airspace – that transitional area stretching from terminal to terminal, across time zones or between the check-in desk and the baggage carousel – must be regarded as a discrete destination on any map of our age.

At the hub of this exclusive enclave, which rises from the runway to an altitude of several thousand feet and which calmly accommodates the dangers of take-off and landing procedures, lies the airport – the concrete manifestation of airspace. The airport is a locale of anxiety and chance where, in order to expedite air traffic, authority is absolute, time is relative and liberties are always taken.

David Pascoe's wide-ranging book blends personal observation with detailed discussions of social history, air accidents, landscape, architecture, politics, aesthetics, literature and film to provide a striking account of the airport as a unique space and singular form of modernity, a place fundamental to any accurate sense of what we are now, and where we are going.

‘Powered flight is one of the wonders of the modern world and the worlds it inhabits, both literally and metaphorically, are the subject of David Pascoe's eclectic and intelligent book . . . a thought-provoking analysis.’ – Financial Times

‘ . . . the scope of Mr Pascoe's rumination is impressive’ – The Economist

‘Personal observations fuse with meditations on air accidents, architecture, literature, and film to give us the full picture of the metaphorical and literal territory of the air, always readable, never irrelevant. Airspaces could well be the guidebook to tomorrow we've been waiting for.’ – Untold London


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David Pascoe is of English Literature and Culture at Utrecht University. He is the author of Peter Greenaway: Museums and Moving Images (Reaktion, 1997) and Aircraft (Reaktion, 2003).