Letters to the Editor: Sept. 2010

The Vienna Review welcomes letters from its readers

To the Editor,

Could the author of  “The Death of Common Sense,” in the July/August issue, tell us where the raid took place? Was it in international waters or Israeli waters? [From the way] you were talking, [you sounded] like an MP in Israeli government. And therefore, you do not deserve the attention [of the public]. We have enough Israeli MPs defending Israel everywhere.

Submitted to www.viennareview.net


The Author Replies,

If readers could take another look at the article, I never said the attack was justified or lawful, and don’t think it was, whether in international or Israeli waters (but maritime law was not the focus of the piece). However, if you think I sound like an Israeli MP, I suggest you do some more research. Nowhere in the piece do I defend Israel; in fact, Israel’s guilt is both implicit in my argument and explicit in my language. Ultimately though, your reaction proves my point: if someone allots any culpability or blame to any other party other than Israel, they do not “deserve attention”; if someone suggests that people other than the Israelis should exercise responsible decision-making, they’re automatically a shill for Israel.  I challenge you to find an Israeli politician who, in an op-ed piece, categorically denounces Israeli actions in the first sentence, and manages to call the Israelis “dastardly”, “paranoid” and “out of control” in 600 words.

 Justin McCauley


To the Editor, 

In my postbox this morning I found the latest copy of The Vienna Review. Knowing there would be a review of my book Only in Vienna, in the Vienna Review of Books section, I hastily thumbed through the pages. What I had assumed might be a paragraph or two (if I was lucky) turned out to be an entire page, reviews of both the book and my new audio CD, by VR Editor in Chief, Dardis McNamee,

Of the many reviews written about my books over the years, I have to say that these have pleased me the most. McNamee’s affection not only for my work, but more importantly for Vienna itself, shines through every line.

I feel enormously flattered, and I thank you most sincerely. This has made my day, it really has.

With best wishes,

Duncan Smith


To the Editor, 

Marvelous article by Shelly Stark 01/06/2010 on The Third Man. What thoughtful, entertaining, and poetic writing! I have enjoyed the article immensely. I like the turns of phrase such as “Ernst Deutsch as Baron Kurtz, a man steering by a failed moral compass.”

This movie, I must admit, had a profound effect upon my sensibility when I first saw it at the Burg Kino on the Ringstrasse, and I have seen it many times since. My wife was also enthralled by the film, which I took her to see upon her first visit to Vienna. Every time we see the film, we notice some fascinating detail, some intriguing nuance that we never saw before.

The theme music of Anton Karas is divine, and adds a wistful atmosphere to the dark and sinister romance of the film. I would like to know more about how Carol Reed happened upon Karas and his magical zither in Vienna. Certainly the merry ambiance of old Vienna was not lost during this nadir of post war aftermath, eg. Anne Schmidt was inclined to play only comedies in the theatre. It is true, that the myopic Viennese miss the fact that the movie is more about themselves, their own outlook, than it is about Hollywood or Shepperton Studios.

Tav Falco
Adjunct Instructor
Photography and Film Studies
Webster University Vienna

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