IN his review of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Albert Einstein ( Review , June 16- 17) Alan Saunders writes, ‘‘ Then there was his upbringing — the family business was in electronics.’’
Depending on the source, the family business was in electrical components or electrochemicals, neither of which have anything whatever to do with electronics. Einstein had already published his special theory of relativity before the invention of the vacuum tube by Lee Forest. In fact, the electronics industry did not really begin until World War I and further development of Forest’s invention into a usable device for electronic amplification.
If the error is in the book, then it is not worth reading, if it is the reviewer’s, that is no problem, we all make mistakes. I know this because I am the father of three teenage children. Gerard Dean Glen Iris, Victoria JOEL Greenberg concludes his review of books on the seductive and repellent — for her toadying to Nazism — Leni Riefenstahl ( Review, June 16- 17) with a striking revelation of his own prejudice when he writes of ‘‘ a peculiarly Teutonic paradox . . . how can great art coexist with moral squalor, genius with evil?’’.
The fascinating, puzzling conjunction of great art and moral squalor, genius and evil, is surely universal rather than merely Teutonic. Anna Epstein Carlton North, Victoria IN his otherwise entertaining and informative Forum column on James Joyce, Simon Caterson ( Review , June 16- 17) makes a few glaring errors of fact that, in the interests of sweetness and light, should not go unchallenged. The article states that Joyce ‘‘ even had a disciple in Samuel Beckett when writing Ulysses . During this time, Beckett famously declared that Joyce’s writing was ‘ not about something. It is the thing itself’. ’’
Given that Beckett was born in April 1906 and Ulysses was published in February 1922, Beckett was all of eight years old when Joyce began his masterpiece and merely 15 when Ulysses was finally published. When Beckett made his famous statement ( quoted above), he was not referring to Ulysses at all but to Work in Progress, the provisional title for Joyce’s last work, Finnegans Wake.
Ego te absolvo, Simon. Desmond O’Malley University of Sydney WHEN I saw SBS’s ads for its series Big Love I knew it wouldn’t be long before polygamists were called Mormons, and vice versa, on the show and in its reviews. When I read Graeme Blundell’s review of the first program I was annoyed by his dragging of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints into his review.
There is no such thing as ‘‘ Mormon fundamentalists’’, unless all members of the LDS Church are such. Present- day polygamists are not members of the LDS Church, never have been and never will be. Piret Reiljan Geilston Bay, Tasmania