news & views
DESPITE John Tranter’s views (‘‘Poems from the heart of the favoured few’’, October 13-14), I am pretty happy to have a couple of little poems included in The Quadrant Book of Poetry 2001-2010, edited by Les Murray. I regard it as a measurable achievement to get something approved by the mighty Les. It is one benchmark. It is not the only benchmark but it is one of the gold standards in poetry. Ivan Head Camperdown, NSW TONY Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey: and the winner may be . . . Hockey. He emerged as the Liberal Party’s shrewd and amiable third man in his appearance with Annabel Crabb on ABC TV’s Kitchen Cabinet (Second Look, October 6-7), possibly prompting viewers to envisage a scenario in which a narrow Labor victory in 2013 presages a subsequent leadership coup by Hockey. His major advantage over Abbott is his capacity for effective compromise, while Turnbull, charismatic and clever, is perceived, perhaps unfairly, to be imbued with a patrician aloofness. Even the bumbling barbecue efforts made by Hockey with great good humour would seem to be vote winners. Pamela Chippindall Woollahra, NSW THE 2001 television series Band of
Brothers may have made Damian Lewis’s name in the US (‘‘Role play’’, October 6-7), but at about the same time he was also receiving good reviews for his portrayal of Soames in the British ITV remake series of The Forsyte Saga in 2002. This was quite a different portrayal from that by Eric Porter in the original 1967 BBC TV production and almost made the cold-blooded Soames a sympathetic character, more baffled by events than Porter’s vindictive and property-conscious Soames. Brian Macdonald Watsonia, Victoria LUKE Slattery (The Forum, September 29-30) writes in praise of the brief novel, where ‘‘things are left unsaid, or just left out’’. A writer worthy of mention in this regard is Graham Greene. Getting to the heart of the matter was one of his trademarks; his poignant prose conveyed effortlessly the deeper meaning of the subject matter with which he was dealing, whether it be novel or nonfiction. His economy with words added to the intensity of the feeling that was often woven into his prose, and consequently the result was as piercing as poetry. It is remarkable what wealth those slim Penguin publications contained. Margaret Tiainen Holland Park West, Queensland IN her profile of Brett Sheehy (‘‘The highway man’’, September 22-23), Rosemary Neill describes the Melbourne Festival and Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director as ‘‘the only person to have run three of the country’s biggest international arts festivals’’. This may just be factually correct — but ignores the comparable claims of Anthony Steel and Robyn Archer, who have run four or five international arts festivals each, and founded significant Australian festivals as well. Jeremy Eccles Clifton Gardens, NSW To be considered for publication, letters must contain an address and telephone number for verification. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.