Roger Luckhurst, professor of literature at Birkbeck, University of London, has produced in Corridors: Passages of Modernity a delightful, informative cultural history of one of architecture's most ubiquitous spaces. In nine relatively short chapters focused on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain and the United States, plus an introduction and conclusion, Luckhurst draws on a dizzying array of sources and references—from Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shining, Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel Jane Eyre, and the current television anthology series American Horror Story to Charles Fourier's phalanstery, Soviet social condensers, and Ellsworth Milton Statler's hotels—to make the case for corridors' dual utopian and dystopian characters.

The introduction establishes Luckhurst's...

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