By Robert Drewe
Publish yr note: First released in 2000
Aged six, Robert Drewe moved along with his relatives from Melbourne to Perth, the world's such a lot remoted urban - and pleased with it. This sun-baked coast used to be innocently proud, too, of its tranquillity and friendliness. Then a guy he knew murdered a boy he additionally knew. The assassin randomly killed 8 strangers - variously capturing, strangling, stabbing, bludgeoning and hacking his sufferers and operating them down with automobiles - and an blameless Perth was once replaced forever.
In the middle-class waterside suburbs which have been the killer's major stalking grounds, the mysterious murders created frequent nervousness and rapid neighborhood fable. many of us have been deeply affected, no longer least the younger Robert Drewe.
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Additional resources for The Shark Net: Memories and Murder
But we are also dealing with something that is fractured along a number of other lines. In the ﬁrst place, there are important differences between the English and North American rural idylls. The English idyll is mediated through a strong sense of countryside as a national treasure. When the English talk of the countryside they are referring above all to a landscape aesthetic which in broad terms applies or aspires to apply to all rural areas. While much of this has to do with the compactness of the country itself, it is also a product of the processes that shaped the rural landscape and of the nationalist emotions that this landscape stirs.
Looking is the active organisation of what we see, and what we see is socially organised, structured through our internal interpretation of the visual stimulus. Vision in ‘western’ societies is often assumed to be a very immediate sense, free from the interpretative rigours of the other senses. Foucault argued, in particular, that the Classical age was deﬁned by an increasing emphasis on the evidential properties of the visual, or what Jay terms, ‘an intensiﬁed faith in visual evidence’ (1986: 182).
From the country house novels of Jane Austen (see Chapter 6) to the squirearchical world of Anthony Trollope, the portrayal of the English countryside through the lifestyles and residential landscapes of the gentry has retained its popularity to the present day through movies and TV serialisations. This is the England of the country house, the county town and the village, occupied by a contented society which still clung to the old ways and the old rules. This is also the England of Constable, whose portraits of an English rural garden populated by a contented peasantry engaged in rustic tasks has become the derivation for all subsequent sentimentalised pictorial portrayals of the English countryside.