Letters

Giuliani Got Mail

To the Editor:

In Jason Horowitz’s Feb. 6 story, “Put Up Your Fuchs: Professor Is Mayor’s Left Hemisphere,” Ms. Fuchs asserts: “We came into City Hall and there was no e-mail.” If that were true, I can’t imagine what all that stuff in my computer’s inbox was. I’m shocked, just shocked, that you would allow her to say this and let it go unchallenged. This letter to the editor is being sent by e-mail, as it would have been had it been sent when I served as communications director to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Sunny Mindel

Communications Director

Giuliani Partners

Manhattan

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Sacré Bleu!

To the Editor:

As a student of the Lycée Français, I feel that I must contest Gabriel Sherman’s grossly exaggerated, demeaning portrait of our school [“Lycée Français: Are the Kids Not Alright?”, The Transom, Feb. 6]. I am a senior and have been a student there for 12 years. I consider myself, and the vast majority of my classmates, to be perfectly respectable individuals, a far cry from the “unruly élèves” he describes. We are perfectly O.K., thanks for asking. I am outraged by his constant attempts to condemn what is in my opinion one of the best private schools in Manhattan. Before Mr. Sherman questions our “fund-raising integrity,” maybe he should investigate the way it is done in more competitive schools in New York. I honestly don’t know if his apparent hatred of us is born out of Francophobia or just a lack of better material to write about. Whatever it is, it tarnishes his reputation as a writer and really makes a reader lose all respect for The Transom.

Jonathan Moyal

Manhattan

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Giving Pause

To the Editor:

Sheelah Kolhatkar, writing about the James Frey scandal [“Freyed Tomato,” Feb. 6], says she asked a book editor if “he felt that book publishers should accept the standards and transparency of someone like Bill Keller.” The editor paused, as well he should have. Ms. Kolhatkar is apparently unaware that Mr. Keller refused to answer questions from his newspaper’s own “public advocate” and also professed not to have known that his newspaper’s most notorious reporter had reassigned herself to a topic he had ordered her to abandon. If he had really been unaware of this, what sort of editor is he? If Mr. Keller is the standard for transparency in publishing—and journalism—we really are in trouble.

Thomas Hoobler

Manhattan

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Frey’s Commedia Dell’Arte

To the Editor:

Re John Heilpern’s “Fact, Fiction and the Theater: Truth Is, We Prefer Lies” [At the Theater, Feb. 6]: The weaseled look on Mr. Frey’s face during his televised browbeating by Oprah Winfrey held greater interest than what he had to say, because he had nothing to say—which is ironic, because before his exposure he had a lot to say. It seems certain kinds of torture do work, and we should not be sparing in its use.

Raeder Lomax

Manhattan

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The Pants Puzzle

To the Editor:

I’m so dense. I’m very grateful to Simon Doonan for finally explaining to me why people buy those jeans [“Why Oprah Spurned Me: I Am the Un-Frey,” Simon Says, Feb. 6].

Thank you.

(PS: His two cents is priceless!)

Neil Boyce

Manhattan

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Ivories Tower

To the Editor:

I read Charles Michener’s Feb. 6 column with great interest [“Gentle, Self-Effacing Pianist Displays His Unruffled Focus,” Manhattan Music, Feb. 6]. He made me very sorry that I missed Stephen Kovacevich’s recital. I did catch Marc Laforet on Thursday, Feb. 2, and was impressed. Those Metropolitan Museum recitals are indeed a well-kept secret.

I’m sure that whenever anyone raises the question of who is “the best” in anything, people want to weigh in with their own favorites. In this context, I can’t resist saying that the pianist whose absence from such lists continues to amaze me is Vladimir Feltsman. If there’s a better pianist out there, I have yet to hear him (or her). Yet I continue to run into knowledgeable people who haven’t so much as heard of him. It’s one of life’s mysteries to me.

Cynthia Read

West New York, N.J.

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Primo Peckinpah Prose

To the Editor:

Re Charles Taylor’s marvelous contribution to the literature about Sam Peckinpah and his films [“Peckinpah’s Obsessions: Aging Men, and Marriage,” Mr. DVD, Jan. 30]: I’ve seen all of Peckinpah’s films and written about several in my unremarkable journalistic career, but Mr. Taylor’s exposition of the essence of these “Legendary Westerns” is some of the finest writing I have read in this century—not just about Peckinpah, but in terms of critical writing in general. Wherever he is, Peckinpah should smile and nod his head after absorbing what Mr. Taylor wrote. I only wish I had the vision to produce even a portion of what he did.

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” is the newspaper editor’s quote at the end of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As a Peckinpah fan, I am indebted to Mr. Taylor for not allowing the legend to obscure the truth of these, his greatest works.

George H.W. Powell

San Francisco