Letters to the Editor

Just war theory

Dear Editor,

Andrew Alexandra is not persuaded by my defence of war (June–July 2014). I am not persuaded by his attack on it.

... (read more)

Small talk

Dear Editor,

Your reviewer, Colin Steele, was too kind in his appraisal of Professor Helen Small’s disturbingly inadequate attempt to make a case for the humanities in her book The Value of the Humanities (May 2014 ...

A banality of bones

Dear Editor,

Having stood in line for nearly two hours to visit the catacombs in Paris recently, I appreciate the pent-up anticipation Christine Piper felt on her visit to Tokyo, which she describes in her Calibre Prize-winning essay, ‘Unearthing ...


Dear Editor,

Brian McFarlane’s review of Michael Blakemore’s memoir of his years at the National Theatre (February 2014) reminded me of my own experience of Laurence Olivier’s performance in Long Day’s Journey into Night ...

Harry Seidler and posterity

Dear Editor,

Congratulations for publishing Philip Goad’s excellent review of Helen O’Neill’s biography of Harry Seidler (February 2014), which was a complete contrast to Elizabeth Farrelly’s derogatory review in the Sydney Morning Herald (11–12 January 2014).

Goad is right to stress Seidler’s inte ...

Print the Legend

Dear Editor,

In his review of Roger McDonald’s novel The Following, Don Anderson alludes to John Ford’s classic western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) in criticising McDonald for getting the facts wrong (St Vincent’s Hospital Syd ...

Olive and Ross

Dear Editor,

I very much enjoyed Helen Ennis’s article about Olive Cotton at Spring Forest (July–August 2013). I stayed there with Geoffrey Lehmann when, in the early 1990s, I was interviewing Ross McInerney and recording Geoff’s poems for an ABC radio feature. At one point Olive popped out of the back door and s ...

A question of syphilis

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed Jeffrey Tate’s excellent review of Paul Kildea’s biography of Benjamin Britten (June 2013). It is always interesting when doctors disagree with a diagnosis – especially with the benefits ...

Writing first

Dear Editor,

Rock critic Robert Christgau once argued that ‘writing about music is writing first’. His edict puts paid to all those who have erroneously demanded that music reviewers must be musicians themselves or otherwise musically literate. If you can listen to and appreciate music, then you can write about it.

I was surprised ...

Myth and misrepresentation

Dear Editor,

Lyndon Megarrity’s review of my book, I Am Bound to Be True: The Life and Legacy of Arthur A. Calwell, begins with assertions about Arthur Calwell that appear to be intended to deter the reader from ...