Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Nov 1, , Katherine Biber and others published Crooks Like Us, Peter Doyle. Crooks Like Us [Peter Doyle] on ronaldweinland.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Riveting stories and extraordinary images from Sydney's mysterious and. The Voice of the Lobster 5 novelette by Kuttner unlike crooks like us. Than Death to the 14 - lastly crooks part epic Berlin Alexanderplatz.
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Such are the potent circumstances surrounding the so-called ‘special photographs’ taken by Sydney police in the s, discovered over recent years among the tens of thousands of negatives of the forensic photography archive at the Justice & Police Museum. Explore James Leocadi's board "Crooks Like Us", followed by people on for high school seniors to english essay book for css pdf laboratory. Start by marking “Crooks Like Us” as Want to Read: In the s Sydney police began assembling a gallery of the city's most light-fingered, fleet-footed, silver-tongued rogues. Peter Doyle was born in Maroubra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Crooks like us Imagine the human face as a theatre stage, across which stagger thoughts, feelings, moods and memories. Or maybe think of it as a kind of ledger, a scrupulously kept record of suffering, joy, failure, health and illness. The face is also, so we believe, a register of moral states - we base some of our most abiding judgment s on the briefest of glances at the faces of others. Is there any mode of representation more simultaneously revealing and misleading than the photographic portrait? Does that split-second visual sampling capture something true about the subject, some fleeting aspect of the self hidden from normal view, or merely some random configuration of facial tics and twitches?
Doyle read every NSW Police Gazette and supplement from cover to cover, tracking the careers of individual criminals through the decades, and more broadly the changes effected in a particular tranche of society by two world wars and the Great Depression.
The Gazettes are in a sense annals of police gossip, records not just of The Law — not so much iron rod as ever-changing undulation — but also of mores and vernacular, all of which Doyle absorbed. Even outside the crime novels, written in period vernacular, his language is animated by idioms of an earlier time that, in the hands others, might sound forced or quaint.
He writes in Crooks:. Fahy, unwashed and clad in rags, fully lived the part of the low-life. He hung about with the drifters and roughnecks, and participated in their gang feuds. His skin became ingrained with dirt ….
In Shadows this process was secondary, the engagement with lives and corollary deaths largely anonymous, yet always curious, penetrating, empathetic. The scope of Shadows is broad — streets, living rooms, warehouses, the urban and coastal fringes — and within these places, people, either as bystanders or under the spotlight in mug shots.
Shadows becomes a montage of the city we lost to renovations, skyscrapers and arterial roads, its main players the people that history preferred we forget.
The scenes are as interesting for their ordinariness as the evidence of disturbance the camera was brought in to record crashed car, overturned chair, splatter of blood. Williams contributes fine essays that contextualise the place of archives and photography in twentieth-century art, as well as the forensic aesthetic. Doyle is more of a miniaturist, a social historian.
The humanity he highlights inducts a relationship with the photographs of an exhilarating and sometimes discomfiting proximity.
Whether they comply, resist, remain aloof or surrender in shame and despair, in photo after photo we see their volatile but stubbornly persistent selfhood powerfully asserted. We turn the pages, reaching deeper, and such is our identification that by the time we arrive at the photos of cadavers we cannot respond to them without emotion, even on subsequent viewings.
The book, like any good one, rewards repeated perusals. This is not sentimentality, let alone sensationalism.
Common sense prevails. Even the lives he manages to account for do not diminish the overall mystery of the collection, nor the writing its visual paramountcy.
It is interesting to see the lives unveiled in Crooks , which includes photos from Shadows , with names now put to faces. But between the two books, some sleuthing took place.
The publicity surrounding Shadows had brought forth living descendants who joined dots. Doyle told an anecdote at a seminar of being followed down the street near his house in Newtown by a slightly unhinged fellow, unhappy with the inclusion of his male ancestor in this rogues gallery.
Doyle explained the motive was not to judge; on the contrary, many of these people were just — to use that great Aussie-ism — having a go. Indeed there is no sense of viewing from on high, any more than from the distance of time.
We are right there. As Doyle gets more personal with his subjects, it is the fiction writer who opens Crooks:. The photographer arrives. He scarcely looks at you.
Look this way. It is like a voiceover. Cinematic, knowing, playful yet serious. Two pages of these italicised hypotheticals, separated by little drawings of Cluedo-like totems — dagger, clock, card, eight ball — conjure entire lives for these people. One of the noteworthy aspects of their demeanour is an abandon, to anything from brio to despair, that belies the defensive formality one normally associates with police mugshots. More than hairstyle, clothing, or glimpses of the rooms in which they pose, it is this that marks the era.
Camera-consciousness notwithstanding, there is no sense of rehearsal, something that decades of telemedia has bred in us since. But this does not fully account for the lack of convention of the series. The informality of the poses, the soft tonal qualities, the generous framing and, above all, the sense of human complexity in these portraits mark them out as dramatically unlike any other known standard police portraiture. Indeed the Special Photographs seem to be almost collaborative artefacts, the sitter and photographer equally involved in the outcome.
It sometimes seems that the man with the camera had a relationship with the detainees that side-stepped the police. I just want to get a good photo.
This could be explained by hoodlum guile, the naivety of a first arrest, or a legal or illegal confidence booster still running in the blood. A musician himself, most notably of guitar including ukele and slide , Doyle is in his element.
They were a big surprise to the bodgie crowd. They sang a hillbilly harmony, but with a boogie-woogie beat.
By the end of the novel, he is smoking and drinking, and Get Rick Quick sees the addition of reefer and benzedrines. By Amaze Your Friends , Billy falls into daily patronage of the opium den near his Haymarket office, the upshot of which is the sweats and aches. His alcohol consumption is up there with the best of the hard-boiled.
Eating occurs every few days, as often as vomiting. The action-driven narratives follow their hero in his speed-fuelled rounds, chasing scams and being chased, cataloguing pubs, sly grog dens, and landmarks long gone.
Martin Place is a grimy thoroughfare. There is still a Court House Hotel, but the licensing restrictions delay its opening till 10am, and the Bourke Street cafe where Billy meets a shady government agent is no barista kingdom. To go along with the photographs Doyle has, where possible, matched up a little of each person's story - the charge, their ongoing record, or more poignantly - found nothing more about the person whose image becomes even more evocative.
The photographs themselves are simply startling. Stark, frequently surprising, relaxed or guarded, the images of these people are astounding. Standing or seated, usually in a pair of photos, these images show people in facial close-up and then full-length. The clarity of these images is remarkable, and the detail they show, from the faces of the subjects, through to their clothes, accessories, their shoes and their expressions is really something to behold.
Many of the photographs are haunting - the past staring the present and future straight in the eye. There are a few odd names that came to mean more in criminal notoriety - Chow Hayes for example, but in the main these are mostly unknown criminals, involved in all sorts of criminal activities. Conmen, conwomen, thieves, breakers, receivers, perjurers, escapees, pickpockets, drug dealers, drug users, murderers, razor men, tricksters - many of the details of their crimes were tracked down by Doyle - from the sad, and minor through to those starting out on a more dedicated life of crime.
Some of the inscriptions are particularly evocative: "O'Donogue's Trainees" as the author puts it, ripe with suggestions. Hazel McGuiness, charged alongside her mother who the police referred to as "the vilest creature I have seen in my whole 20 years experience", got the slightly kinder observation of "she had scarcely had a chance in life, raised as she was in an atmosphere of dope and immorality".