The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Tony Moore, who used so many words to con­firm that ‘‘ leftie hu­mour’’ is in­deed an oxy­moron ( Re­view , June 30July 1). Must be a co­in­ci­dence that many of his favourite co­me­di­ans can get a gig only on ABC or SBS. Grant Watt Glen­ning Val­ley, NSW MICHAEL Gruber’s novel The Book of Air and Shad­ows ( Re­view , July 7- 8) is not the first lit­er­ary thriller to be based on the dis­cov­ery of a lost Shake­spearean play. Ed­mund Crispin set Love Lies Bleed­ing ( 1948) in a vil­lage near Strat­ford, where a work­man dis­cov­ers a batch of pa­pers in crabbed and faded hand­writ­ing with some strange mis­spellings. This proved to be the man­u­script of Loves Labors Wonne, sup­pos­edly writ­ten in 1598. Crispin’s de­tec­tive was Ger­vase Fen, an Ox­ford pro­fes­sor of lit­er­a­ture, who sur­mises from the man­u­script’s ex­treme poverty of style that it was writ­ten by some­one other than Shake­speare. Gen­uine or not, it caused three mur­ders, all in­ge­niously solved with the meth­ods of the time, when fic­tional de­tec­tives were more likely to be dons and civil ser­vants than to­day’s fe­male foren­sic ex­am­in­ers dis­sect­ing mu­ti­lated corpses. Evan Wil­liams, Kil­lara, NSW TWO bi­ogra­phies have been writ­ten about Kevin Rudd to help in­tro­duce him to more Aus­tralians but Hed­ley Thomas ( Re­view , June 30- July 1) and other re­view­ers seem to con­cen­trate on the fact that naughty Kevin would not co- op­er­ate with one of them. Big deal. Surely it is Rudd’s ab­so­lute right not to co- op­er­ate with a book he does not en­dorse? And if he was a con­trol freak in the Goss gov­ern­ment, could it be be­cause they had to clear up the bag­men, the cor­rup­tion and the crooks who flour­ished dur­ing the Joh BjelkePetersen years? Mar­i­lyn Shep­herd Kens­ing­ton, South Aus­tralia HED­LEY Thomas’s re­view of my bi­og­ra­phy of Kevin Rudd took me to task for declar­ing in an af­ter­word that in a choice with John Howard, I be­lieved Rudd’s elec­tion was vi­tal in the na­tional in­ter­est. I gave my rea­sons, too lengthy to re­peat here. The reviewer seemed to feel I had trans­gressed some jour­nal­is­tic no­tion of ob­jec­tiv­ity. I re­ject this com­pletely. I am a bi­og­ra­pher: I had a clear duty to reach con­clu­sions. Af­ter many search­ing in­ter­views with the man, his fam­ily and a wide range of pro­fes­sional as­so­ciates, my as­sess­ment of Rudd was of a de­cent, hon­est man who has over­come enor­mous hard­ships to reach his present po­si­tion and who has a com­pelling vi­sion for Aus­tralia. Robert Mack­lin We­ston, ACT WHAT is the ra­tio­nale for the star rat­ings of films in Re­view ? David Stratton ( June 30July 1) raved about Club­land and gave it 31/ stars. On the op­po­site page Evan Wil­liams bagged Trans­form­ers yet gave it three stars. Wil­liams said Bridge to Ter­abithia ( June 1617) might be the best chil­dren’s film since The Wizard of Oz, but man­aged to sum­mon up only four out of five stars. Surely if it ranks with the best genre film of all time it de­serves the full five stars? How are we pun­ters to in­ter­pret this rank­ing sys­tem? Tony Welling­ton Tin­beer­wah, Queens­land

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