The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

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

Write to re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au.

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