Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Ron Pretty’s review of Jane Interlinear & Other Poems raises a few lexical points with me. One is my spelling of ‘til’ for ‘till’. While I recognise that the dictionaries are unanimous, what I see and hear is a straightforward and widespread contraction of ‘until’, with neither the suggestion of agriculture (till) nor the redundant apostrophe (‘til) which Stephen Murray-Smith forbids in Right Words. Today’s solecism is tomorrow’s orthodoxy.

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Dear Editor,

Caroline Lurie (ABR No. 131) cited four common criticisms of deconstruction. I think a more important reason is the danger deconstruction poses to the privileged position of the author as the source of one or multiple meanings for a text. It is significant to note that it is mostly the authors (both of narrative and critical discourses) who are so upset about deconstruction.

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Dear Editor,

The Fat Author Replies to Robert Dessaix:

The author does not embody Iiterary classification nor does she base her work on literary theory though literary criticism does inform her literary practice.

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In last month’s Telecom Australian Voices essay, Robert Dessaix discussed the ways in which multiculturalism divides up the Australian literary scene, concluding that “in a word, it’s time our multicultural professionals stopped marginalising multicultural writers”. The response of Sneja Gunew, who was quoted in that essay, is printed in its entirety here, along with other letters prompted by the essay.

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Dear Editor,

Like many a white Australian, I have few opportunities to meet Aboriginal people and to come to terms with the issues of black–white relations. But I am well aware of how difficult these issues are and what a long way we have to go in resolving them. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the December issue of ABR dedicated to ‘Aboriginality’, expecting to be uncomfortably and justifiably challenged.

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Dear Editor,

That twice but incompletely published review of mine of recent architectural books continues to cause trouble for all concerned. Noting the letter (ABR, August) from the Townsville City Council, I’m delighted to learn of their concern for the preservation of old buildings, and fully understand their distress at being misrepresented by me. As they have magnanimously conceded, I was merely working with ‘facts’ found in the books under review. I therefore gladly volunteer my apologies to the Townsville City Council.

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Dear Editor,

I was surprised, on reading the August Issue of ABR, to find no comment or tribute to the former editor, John McLaren. I understand too well the pressure of deadlines and have no doubt that ABR will, at some future date, provide a fitting tribute to its former editor.

In the meantime, I would be grateful if you would publish my own small and inadequate tribute.

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Dear Editor,

I wonder whether you would be so good as to publish, in a forthcoming number of ABR, a short list of selected errata as they appear in Kenneth Gelder’s review of The Book of Sei and Other Stories in your June issue.

Mr Gelder’s opinions are his own affair, much as I might wish that he had not made a book of mine their vehicle. I was, however, disturbed to find that, purporting to quote the first lines of the story entitled ‘The Dolphin’, he in fact quoted the opening lines of quite another (‘Red and Black’).

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Dear Sir,

Laurie Muller’s reported comments on the obligations (sic) of libraries and librarians, and the state of Australian publishing (ABR, December 1985–Jan 1986) must surely invite some responses!

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