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Letters to the Editor - The New York Times

Category: Art & Culture,Books

To the Editor:

Your review of the newly released 1995 audiobook of Elaine Stritch reading “Parker: Selected Stories” (Nov. 18) brings to mind Lauren Bacall’s reading of Dorothy Parker’s stories, “Big Blonde: And Other Stories.” Bacall’s throaty inflection — like a cigarette and a tumbler of rye whiskey — remains the platinum standard, but Stritch certainly gives her a run for the money.

HARRY FRISCHER
NEW YORK

To the Editor:

One hopes Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang, the authors of the fascinating-sounding audiobook “Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military” (Nov. 18), at least mention Stanley Kubrick’s classic film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Its opening scene capsulized their 18 hour, 38 minute treatise with a split-second match cut: from an animal bone turned lethal weapon tossed skyward by a prehistoric primate to a spaceship hurtling around planet Earth in the high-tech future.

VINCENT BROOK
LOS ANGELES

To the Editor:

I settled in to read Will Hermes’s review of the audiobook version of “Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane” (Nov. 18) and so far have not been able to get past the sixth line, where we are told that Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen are both “South Jersey rock ’n’ roll refugees.” Hermes’s biography is such that it’s hard to imagine him placing Springsteen at the wrong end of the Garden State.

It’s equally difficult to imagine The Times, a few weeks after running a wonderful oral history of Asbury Park’s Stone Pony — “How a Legendary Club Rode the Ups and Downs of the Jersey Shore’s Most Rocking Town,” by Nick Corasaniti (Oct. 18) — not catching such an error.

CHARLIE BRENNAN
LAFAYETTE, COLO.

To the Editor:

In her review of Reihan Salam’s “Melting Pot or Civil War: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders” (Nov. 4), Kay Hymowitz rightly points out that Canada has a points system for immigration.

She opens the review by asking, “Aside from lines on a map and a shared language, what makes Denmark Denmark, or Canada Canada?”

In Canada, the answer isn’t a shared language.

Quebec, totaling about 24 percent of the population of this vast country, is majority French speaking (almost 95 percent). About 85 percent of Quebecers speak French as their first language, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that in a country with two official languages the second is English.

Quebec has its own immigration points system, which includes knowledge of French. The second language might be Vietnamese, Haitian Creole or, increasingly, Arabic.

As for lines on a map: Canada and Denmark are at odds over ownership of Hans Island, an uninhabited rock off Nunavut. We will likely sort that out before we ever have a common language.

RAYMOND BEAUCHEMIN
HAMILTON, ONTARIO


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