From the editor
NO one else writes about northern and remote Australia the way Nicolas Rothwell does. He brings an exhilarating freshness, range and gentle humour to every topic he touches, whether he is exploring indigenous art and culture, the continental imagination, the fortunes, struggles and tragedies of the Top End, its landscape or its cast of colourful characters (including its wildlife). Rothwell’s cover story in this issue of Review charts the surprising origins of the West Australian border in a treaty forged in the Spanish town of Tordesillas in 1494. Today, this remote frontier with its uncertain nature presents a psychological as well as a physical barrier, and also a bureaucratic puzzle. On a map, it may seem simply a line in the sand. To Rothwell it is the pulse of the continent’s heart.
As the Beatles’ 50th anniversary year comes to a conclusion, don’t miss Miko Giedroyc and Ben Reed’s investigation of John Lennon’s contribution to music. Was he really a genius? Did he compose works of art or just great pop songs? To assess his worth, the pair revisits other composers of popular music including Handel, Mozart, Purcell, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Noel Coward and George Gershwin. Their verdict? Find out, inside Review.
Although the holiday season is in full swing, Review will publish throughout January. Our readers will be able to continue to enjoy reviews of the top films, television, books and visual arts, as well as columns and features on nearly all aspects of the arts. And for those of us who are not heading to the beach or bush in the annual summer exodus, there is a feast of movies, music, theatre and art to enjoy during the most relaxed time of year. Happy new year.