Luke Davies is a novelist, screenplay writer and poet. He is the author of Candy, God of Speed, Totem (the winner of the Age Book of the Year in 2004) and Interferon Psalms (winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2012).
“One man dead, another in hospital following Redfern double stabbing,” the headline read. I glanced over the story. It sounded seedy, brutal. As the news unfolded during the following days in August, it was revealed that the injured man was in a critical condition in hospital, that the stabbing was believed to have resulted from a drug deal gone wrong, and that police were searching for three suspects, two men and a woman.
Suddenly the focus of the reporting shifted: the woman was the daughter of a former premier, and came from a different world, of privilege, prestige and profile. The slant now became salacious. Juicy. It was the kind of morality tale the media is partial to: the fall from a great height, viewed through the prism of schadenfreude. It was that happiest of marriages, the crime beat exchanging vows with the society page.
Narratively speaking, the...
Nothing without context. Politics, society, culture.