Letters to the Editor: April 2008

To the Editor,

Congratulations on the March 2008 issue. It is the first time that I was drawn to read the first section of The Vienna Review from cover to cover.

Bravo on new talented wordsmith and insightful compassionate contributor Tamara Nosenko. Her “Path of Memory,” deserving of the whole of page 2, brought the cruelly murdered peaceful Jewish residents of the second district back to life, if only for the moment.

Tears came to my eyes as I followed her in her research of the Stones of Remembrance project. Her article on the “White City of Tel Aviv” exhibition captured both the actual city with its sea smells, fresh winds and vibrant diversified population and the contrasting exhibition which focuses on the stunning Bauhaus architecture justifying its designation as a World Heritage site.

Thoroughly enjoyable was the “Election Blog” exchange between Chris and Ben as was the article about Mark Twain. Paul Krauskopf also shows promise with his distinctive voice.

All in all my perception of the VR as a platform for Islamist propaganda has taken a blow with this issue!

Gila Perach Hirsh



To the Editor,

Candy Fresacher’s “Twain in Vienna” was a pleasure to read. I had been well aware of Samuel Clemens’ time in Austria and his meeting with Kaiser Franz Josef, but I knew nothing about his time in Kaltenleutgeben or of the reason for his stay, namely the piano lessons for his daughter from Theodor Leschitzky and the cure at the spa for his wife Olivia and his daughter Jean.

As a fan of Twain, it was enlightening to read of the influence that his time in Austria had on his work. Twain’s collected works take up a massive 26 volumes, and each and every piece is a pleasure to read. Twain was a genius and one of the authors who established budding American literature on the international scene.

My favorite Twain piece is still “The Mysterious Stranger,” which he wrote in Austria and is quite different than the rest of his work. Perhaps it was the influence of Kaltenleutgeben or of Austria from 1897 to 1899 that was conducive to this creativity, but Twain never expanded on this. Like his stranger, this will remain a mystery, but delving into the life and times of Twain in Austria is enlightening nonetheless, and I am grateful to The Vienna Review for running this story.

Dr. Gregory Weeks



Dear Editor,

Having heard his name every night for the last week and a half, I couldn’t figure out why I started reading the article about the film maker, “Ruzowitzky Returns a Hero.”

But I am glad that I did. The writer showed a side of this instant idol that I had not seen anywhere in the Austrian media. Despite the article’s title, I read about a man, not an unachievable hero, someone who was enveloped by his new-found fame, but still seemed giddy, almost like a little boy, about holding the little golden man in his hand, as if it were a magic wand. But maybe he’s not wrong.

We hope it will transform his life.

Johnathan Pastiche



Dear Editor,

In the March issue of the Vienna Review, I had the displeasure of seeing yet another “Face of Vienna.” I am not exactly sure what the artist’s point is, but I think it detracts from every issue Huxter is featured in. I suppose if he found truly interesting faces to reproduce, it might be different. Huxter obviously has talent as an artist, but his subjects seem to be bored to death, as if waiting for him to finish drawing so they can continue on with their mundane lives. This city is full of interesting, energetic and diverse faces, but it seems Huxter wants only to bring out the drab side of Vienna that has become such a cliche. I suggest Mr. Huxter goes out on a limb and chooses his subjects with more care in the future.

Larry Guncheon 


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