by Lesley Williams, Altitude, Volume 2, Article 5, 2002.
PDF Version: Beyond My Window
Beneath the surface of me (1)…a philosophical daydream on the metaphoric and practical qualities of Utopia
At the tip of each fine frond of the Melaleuca, fat drops of rain collect and gleam wetly with reflected light, until a wrenching wind-gust launches them back into the saturated grey backdrop of afternoon, into the swift flow of water channelling a depression along the edge of the mown space just beyond our fence. Parrots, three, bright orange at chest and crest, a hint of green, turquoise winged, dance and dash through short watery grass, gather wash-away seeds with gusto.
All the birds are energised by the rain. A dozen sparrows peck and twitter in the Hakea. Two blackbirds chase a nosy yellow-wing away from their nest-site in the ivy-covered tank stand.
Lesley Williams studies in the English Department at Adelaide University.
by Judy Greenway, Altitude, Volume 2, Article 1, 2002.
PDF Version: Impossible Outlaws: Gender, Space and Utpoia in Johnny Guitar
In the country of Robin Hood, outlaws have a privileged place in the imagination. Over the centuries, in a multiplicity of Robin Hood narratives from children’s histories to recycled Hollywood costume dramas, outlawry has come to stand for colour and excitement in a monochrome world, and the romance of resistance to an unjust and repressive society. Central to the mythography is Sherwood Forest, the greenwood, the outlaws’ hideout; a place of nature separate from a corrupt society and the machinations of the Sheriff, where the outlaws have a degree of autonomy, and are able to rehearse the values of a different and better world. Robin Hood and his men merge with more ambiguous representations of the outlaw in the Western, perhaps the oldest genre of popular cinema. The outlaw takes on a generic character; and myths of outlawry and safe hideouts become one of the ways of imagining a changed world, or the creation of a new society that is both inside and outside the old.
Judy Greenway is a senior lecturer in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of East London, where she teaches courses on Lesbian and Gay cultures, utopianism, and feminism and film.