Thursday, June 8, 2017

At Least Someone Cares

Only in the letters column of the venerable of Times Literary Supplement, is there  reassurance that in a turbulent world, there are people who still care about dotting I’s. Civilization as we know it is having a hard time. Barbarian hordes on both sides of the ideological spectrum are literally trampling over monuments (for example in Palmyra and on national park lands of over l00,000 acres). God bless one James Connelly from Hingham, Massachusetts who writes in to correct Lucy Scholes’s “enthusiastic and enjoyable review of Noah Isenberg’s We'll Always Have Casablanca (May 12)…blemished by one error of detail.” What was Scholes’s faux pas? In discussing the Brattle, an art house, near Harvard Square, she had mistakenly referred to it as “Harvard University’s art-house cinema." Connelly goes on to say, “The Brattle is not and has never been part of Harvard University, as she seems to suggest. A minor point, but one worth clarifying.” Though in Scholes’s defense one might aver that her statement was almost metaphoric, one can only applaud Mr. Connelly’s fastidiousness. But here's a doozer. Alan and  Catherine Castree of Fecham, Surrey respond to one Bridget Allen who “enquires (Letters, May l9) whether Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s readings at the Men’s Union of Edinburgh University in l962 were accompanied by readings of translations, as in Oxford, Cambridge and London or whether ‘Baby Yar’ was ‘intelligible only to Russianists.’” In lieu of having to issue a spoiler alert, let’s just say that the Castree’s answer to Bridget Allen’s inquiry is fulsome and almost novelistic culminating in the revelation that the couple have been married for fifty-four years.

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