IN his tribute to Paul Scofield, Peter Craven wrote that the actor had a voice ‘‘ that provoked Kenneth Tynan to quote T. S. Eliot to say it came from empty cisterns and deserted wells’’ ( Review , April 12- 13). He should check. Eliot wrote: ‘‘ And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.’’ When Scofield read this passage ( which begins ‘‘ A woman drew her long black hair out tight/ And fiddled whisper music on those strings’’), he fluttered and pounced in a series of rhythmic displacements, pauses and compensatory accelerations, with an unerring beat beneath it all. That some critics thought he had trouble with verse may show how four- square is the rhythmic sense of some critics. A rapper or jazz or rock musician would surely have no trouble feeling Scofield’s beautiful time. UNFORTUNATELY, Victoria Laurie’s article ‘‘ Diving for history’’ ( Review , April 12- 13) contained an error in the statement referring to the Sydney: ‘‘ the disappearance of the Royal Australian Navy’s most powerful fighting ship’’. This is not correct. The navy’s two heavy cruisers then, Canberra and Australia, were a class above Sydney in fighting ability, being 40 per cent larger, with a heavier, longer- ranging main armament battery and superior armour protection. Also, do not forget that the Sydney had two identical sisters, Perth and Hobart. Sydney was the navy’s most famous ship at the time, which is a different matter.
John Clare Glebe, NSW Nigel Beeke Sheffield, Tasmania
ROSEMARY Sorensen is immensely readable. Her interview with Queensland state librarian Lea Giles- Peters ( The Face , April 5- 6) left me wishing some of your other writers could be truncated and their space given to an expanded view of this interesting woman. Her leadership in proving libraries matter needs all our support.
Lesley Moseley Greenvale, Queensland
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