In these manuscript notes, Angela Carter reveals how important the Granada cinema in Tooting was to her. Carter chose the south west London cinema as a setting for the Omnibus television programme, ‘Angela Carter's Curious Room’. A profile of her life and work, the programme was filmed in January 1992, a month before her death. The notes are part of a collection of related material, including a script and correspondence.
At the Tooting Granada Carter discovered her love for cinema and film – a love that she would later weave into essays and novels such as Wise Children (1991). Perhaps most importantly, the Granada shaped Carter’s imagination and aesthetic sensibility. On those Friday night ‘rare treats’ to the cinema with her father, Carter felt transported from the drab, ordinary world outside:
to step through the door of this dream cathedral of voluptuous thirties wish-fulfillment [sic] architecture was to set up a tension within me that has never resolved the tension between inside + outside, between the unappeasable appetite for the unexpected, the gorgeous, the gim-grack [sic], the fantastic, the free play of the imagination…
These visits, Carter suggests, irreversibly changed her, unlocking ‘a tension’ that she pursued in her fiction. Her ornate, witty prose grew out of this building of kitsch, gothic, rococo extravagance that brashly mixed styles and ‘the real + the false – real marble hugger-mugger with plaster, so you have to tap everything to see if it sounds hollow or solid’.
- Full title:
- Angela Carter Papers: Interviews
- estimated 1991–92; whole volume 1973–92
- Manuscript / Draft
- Angela Carter
- Usage terms
© Displayed with the permission of the Estate of Angela Carter c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN. Angela Carter’s work is published in the UK by Vintage, Virago, Penguin Classics. You may not reuse the material for commercial purposes.
- Held by
- British Library
- Add MS 88899/2/28
- Article by:
- Laura Marcus
- Art, music and popular culture, Capturing and creating the modern
Modernism was concerned with everyday life, perception, time and the kaleidoscopic and fractured experience of urban space. Cinema, with its techniques of close-up, panning, flashbacks and montage played a major role in shaping experimental works such as Mrs Dalloway or Ulysses. Here Laura Marcus explores the impact of cinema on modernist literature.
- Article by:
- Kate Webb
- Gender and sexuality, Literature 1950–2000, Art, music and popular culture
Kate Webb introduces Angela Carter's Wise Children, which uses Shakespeare, carnival and Hollywood to challenge distinctions between high and low culture and explore the relationship between energy and disorder.
- Article by:
- Greg Buzwell
- Art, music and popular culture, Literature 1950–2000
Legitimacy and illegitimacy, high and low culture, north versus south London, everything in Wise Children has duality at its heart. Greg Buzwell examines Angela Carter’s last novel, the story of Dora and Nora Chance, the Hazard acting dynasty, and a life lived in the public gaze.