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AS a (now re­tired) li­brar­ian who for many years was as­so­ci­ated closely with the All­port Li­brary and Mu­seum of Fine Arts, I was de­lighted you fea­tured CFL All­port’s The House with Green Shut­ters (Pub­lic Works, Au­gust 17-18). Per­haps Lily All­port’s affin­ity with Kemp Street in Ho­bart can be at­trib­uted to the fact for sev­eral years in the 1920s and 30s she oc­cu­pied stu­dios nearby. She would have been very fa­mil­iar with the street, which a news­pa­per re­port in 1928 de­scribed as ‘‘that lit­tle back­wash in the mid­dle of Ho­bart’s busi­ness cen­tre’’. All­port was only one of sev­eral lo­cal artists of the time who used it as a sub­ject. Sadly, the oak trees that lined it were re­moved (de­spite great pub­lic out­cry) in the early 30s. Kemp Street to­day is a bar­ren con­crete laneway.

Tony Mar­shall South Ho­bart

OH joy! Oh de­light! Thank you, Jon Kudelka (‘‘The curse of high apos­tro­phe in­tel­li­gence’’, Au­gust 24-25). At long last a pic­ture that per­fectly cap­tures my years of frus­tra­tion with mis­used apos­tro­phes. All the CD’s, the DVD’s, the pizza’s, the sweet potato’s, the cheese’s and — the lat­est — the pro’s and con’s.

Su­sanna Pritchard High­gate Hill, Queens­land

SAY­ING things or be­hav­ing in a way that leads to pri­vate of­fence is in­tended to cor­rode the rep­u­ta­tion, dig­nity and es­teem of an­other per­son. The ‘‘right to of­fend’’ (‘‘De­fend­ing the right to of­fend’’, Au­gust 24-25) holds po­ten­tial to in­flict far greater dis­tress in the pub­lic do­main of our cyber-so­cially con­nected world. The moral re­quire­ment to con­duct so­cial dis­course and in­tel­lec­tual de­bate in a civil man­ner is un­der­pinned by the rea­son­able premise that re­marks that of­fend in­vari­ably also hurt the feel­ings, if not safety, of their re­cip­i­ent in a ma­te­rial way. The freedom to dis­sem­i­nate jaun­diced views that breed vi­o­lence and ha­tred, such as those pro­mul­gated by racists and neo-Nazis, hold dangers for mi­nor­ity groups. I am for freedom of speech pro­vided it does not in­flame prej­u­dice against our fel­low hu­man be­ings.

Joseph Ting Camp Hill, Queens­land

Geordie Wil­liamson re­views Richard King’s On Of­fence, page 18

I BE­GAN read­ing Ni­co­las Roth­well’s ar­ti­cle on Vasily Gross­man’s An Ar­me­nian Sketch­book (Au­gust 24-25) with in­ter­est, but dis­pute his ‘‘elu­sive’’ de­scrip­tion of Gross­man’s last novel. Ev­ery­thing Flows de­picts forthrightly mon­strous as­pects of life in the for­mer Soviet Union through the eyes of a male Gu­lag pris­oner newly re­leased in the 1950s, a doomed fe­male Gu­lag pris­oner dur­ing the Great Ter­ror of the mid-30s, and a for­mer govern­ment worker who un­bur­dens her­self of the hor­rors she wit­nessed in the early 30s col­lec­tivi­sa­tion in the Ukraine.

Cyn­thia Marchant Kelvin Grove, Queens­land

To be con­sid­ered for pub­li­ca­tion, let­ters must con­tain an ad­dress and tele­phone num­ber for ver­i­fi­ca­tion. Let­ters may be edited for length and clar­ity.

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