Letters to the Editor

(September 10, 2007)


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Critical Landscape Today: Charles Marowitz's Gulag for Critics

To the Editor:

The crisis in criticism sketched out by Charles Marowitz in Swans of Aug. 27, "Gulag for Critics," was taken up by Morris Dickstein, the president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, August 30 on "Critical Mass," the blog of the National Book Critics Circle. Dickstein adds some pertinent background material.

Peter Byrne
Lecce, Italy - September 1, 2007


Hear your Words before Publishing them: Gilles d'Aymery's Blips #57

Dear Mr. d'Aymery,

As a long time admirer of you and the marvelous work you do with Swans, I wanted to offer a minor suggestion regarding copy editing.

As I long ago determined for myself, an author is the worst editor of his own material. Like it or not, your brain will tend to insert words (and spellings at times) which you know you wanted to insert. To try and guard myself from making blatant errors (and, BTW, you and Swans are, IMHO, head and shoulders above many "reputable" outlets, such as The New York Times), I have adopted a practice you may wish to emulate.

I have a free copy of a text reader (Read Please 2003) and, prior to posting most of my material to my own blog (Ruminations), I paste the material into the reader and listen to the piece being read back to me. It has saved me from making numerous glaring faux pas.

Just a suggestion from an admirer and friend.


Mike Jaszenko
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - September 6, 2007


More Aphorisms: Gilles d'Aymery's Check Your Sources

To the Editor:

I love reading & writing aphorisms. My latest:

Religion: Damnation upon this heavenly canker, apocryphal medium of humanities earthly woes, genesis of manly provocative perpetual warring till eternity.

Truths: Who is friend who is foe? What is false what is true? These are the questions one must pose.

Also: America is governed by a play on words espoused by a court of knaves & ruled by a clown.

Whilst secrecy prevails democracy withers & fails. (best received)


John Cameron
Sydney, NSW, Australia - August 27, 2007


From one Author to Another: Peter Byrne's A Pinch Of Black Salt

Gentile Mr Byrne,

le scrivo in italiano perchè dalla recensione del mio libro mi appare chiaro che conosce molto bene la mia lingua, sicuramente molto meglio di quanto io conosca l'inglese. Eppure è da qui che voglio partire, dall'inglese. Devo ringraziarla per la sua bella recensione (la piu' bella che abbia ricevuto, sicuramente) ma sopratutto per ... l'inglese. Non ci crederà, ma è stata una grande emozione leggere le mie parole nella sua lingua. A parte cio', sono rimasta davvero stupita da come lei abbia colto il senso del mio lavoro (certo è stato anche fin troppo lusinghiero nei miei confronti) ed è per questo che mi piacerebbe conoscerla e scambiare due chiacchiere. Ho letto che vive in Italia, nella splendida Lecce. Io, adesso, vivo a Roma e fra l'altro sto organizzando proprio in Puglia una presentazione di "sale nero." Con l'augurio di conoscerla presto, le invio i miei piu' cari saluti.

Con stima,

Valentina Loiero
Rome, Italy - September 7, 2007


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Published September 10, 2007
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