News & views
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
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