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Blackpool interface

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Film-maker Patrick Keiller's latest book, Robinson in Space, has many apercus about contemporary British life, narrated in a manner which mixes the deadpan and the surreal. The obelisk designed by Quinlan Terry for Alistair McAlpine at his former home, West Green, he reminds us, bears a Latin inscription: 'This monument was built with a large sum of money, which would have otherwise fallen, sooner or later, into the hands of the tax gatherers.' But my favourite is a quote from the distinguished landscape gardener Thomas Mawson. 'Blackpool stands between us and revolution,' he claimed in 1926, one year before the translation of Vers Une Architecture appeared, with its famous last chapter, 'Architecture or Revolution'.

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