YOUR VIEW

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

IN his ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle ‘‘ On the edge’’ ( Re­view , June 7- 8), Pa­trick McCaughey refers to the ban­ning by the then chief sec­re­tary of Vic­to­ria, Arthur Ry­lah, of Mary McCarthy’s novel The Group . I was liv­ing in Melbourne at that time and I re­call that Mel­bur­ni­ans who wished to sat­isfy their cu­rios­ity were able to buy copies of Hansard the day af­ter Ry­lah an­nounced his de­ci­sion to the Vic­to­rian Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly as, in his state­ment, he read out the full text of what he con­sid­ered to be the of­fend­ing para­graphs! Mau­rice Deveze Red Hill, ACT SOME­THING es­sen­tial has been left out of the dis­cus­sion of the Bill Hen­son pho­to­graphs (‘‘ On the edge’’, Re­view , June 7- 8). Peo­ple in the arts world are fo­cused on what is within the frame. They have lost sight of the vast world that lies out­side the frame. A paint­ing or a sculp­ture may be en­tirely the work of an artist’s imag­i­na­tion. But what­ever else it is, a pho­to­graph is a record of a real event that oc­curred in a real world. To dis­cuss a pho­to­graph of a naked child in terms of artis­tic free­dom misses the point. The pre­cise ques­tion is whether the pho­to­graph is ev­i­dence of a crime hav­ing been com­mit­ted, the sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of a child. And once we con­sider it as ev­i­dence, it is ir­rel­e­vant to ask whether the child or the par­ent con­sented. Larry D. Nach­man Banora Point, NSW KATHY Hunt must be a very dull, bor­ing and unimag­i­na­tive reader if she fails to see the com­edy in De­bra Ade­laide’s The House­hold Guide to Dy­ing (‘‘ Joke’s of­ten lost on the grim reaper’’, Re­view , June 7- 8). I laughed out loud through­out my read­ing of it. Far more se­ri­ous, though, are Hunt’s in­sin­u­a­tions that the au­thor is lack­ing in ex­per­tise and ‘‘ demon­strates an in­no­cent but fa­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing of the art’’. It must be the sea­son for per­se­cut­ing artists. Tony Mitchell El­iz­a­beth Bay, NSW HALL Green­land (‘‘ In defence of May 1968’’, Re­view , May 31- June 1) re­minds us of the tu­mul­tuous po­lit­i­cal events of 1968 and the trans­for­ma­tions in so­ci­ety that fol­lowed. In writ­ing about the mas­sacre of stu­dents in Mex­ico City, just be­fore the open­ing of the 1968 Olympic Games, he alerted me to an­other of the mo­men­tous events of that year and one that pro­duced one of the most iconic Olympic pho­tos of all time: the Black Power salutes of Tom­mie Smith, who won the gold medal in the 200 me­tres, and John Car­los, who took bronze. The sil­ver medal­list was Aus­tralia’s Peter Norman, who wore an Olympic Project for Hu­man Rights badge in sup­port. For­mer French stu­dent leader Daniel Cohn- Ben­dit, now a mem­ber of the Euro­pean par­lia­ment, says that the brave po­lit­i­cal stance taken by Smith and Car­los was a crit­i­cal step on the long path to jus­tice for African Amer­i­cans, thanks to which, 40 years later, an African Amer­i­can has a real chance of be­com­ing pres­i­dent of the US. Murray Lau­rence Green­wich, NSW

re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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