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Current Letters

Babe Ruth Is Not Just a Candy Bar

Now you got me, Mr. Silva. This second play in your trilogy is wonderful (and I don't use that word very often, PR maven that I am). Its humor is straight out of Camus right into Robin Williams. I'd love to watch you write, it must be fun. I can't wait for the third one!
Lou Laird
Altenir Silva's play: 2. Babe Ruth & Jack

I have to admit that I knew little about Kandinsky other than his paintings and their influence on other painters. Obviously there was so much more about him. Though he attained an international reputation from his art work, the rest of his amazing life and achievements seems to have been suppressed because of the times he lived in, other than scholars and academics who followed him and honored him. He was an unsung genius! I truly appreciate what Ms Renaud has done with her Kandinsky Anew series, especially this latest article which is so relevant today, so contemporary. I can understand why she has liked him so much for the past 30 years. I'm "woke" to him. Thank you for that.
Robert Gittelmann
Lissa Tyler Renaud's article: Towards International Unity:
Kandinsky's Inclusive Arts Aesthetic

The Boogeyman
I only wonder what happens if you marry one, or your boss is one, or you find out that all the time it's your mother under the bed. Mr. Marcott asks: "Did you really think the Boogeyman would get you if you didn't eat your breakfast cereal?" I did, and that's why I skip breakfast for brunch.
Andy Clayton
Les Marcott's column: The Boogeyman

Widsanupong Noonan
His work looks beautiful especially the beautiful way it is presented on the pages. I especially love the portrait of the King's back with the sweat marks. I don't think his work is too "provincial", too Thai. Good paintings and good sculpture are universal in their appeal.
Somchai Thanarat
Janine Yasovant's article: Everything is an Illusion

Kandinsky and de Hartmann
How wonderful to read this article, from Renaud's meaningful introduction, to 'touching' the real Kandinsky via his own feelings and words! It is – or should be – really amazing that Kandinsky's complete letters have not been published, or it seems even contemplated!... while so many have had that coverage... . In a way, we really do not know him, this private Kandinsky. I'm sure he put effort and thoroughness into his correspondence, as he did with all he had put his name to, so even a good-size selection of his letters would be revelatory, judging by this sample here! Kudos to the author and the two collaborators!... and please do not stop there...
Philip Gerstein
Jelena Hahl-Fontaine's and Lissa Tyler Renaud's article:
Kandinsky and His Closest Friend, Thomas de Hartmann

Summers in Saratoga
Ah, such a lovely reminiscence. Born and raised nearby and spent many a season at the Springs. Many happy memories: the weather, the scenery, the people and of course -- the racing. Something ethereal about the racing, unlike any other in the country. Thank you Ms Verdino-Süllwold, you are a merchant of dreams.
George Nierbasch
Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold's Article: Summers at the "Spa"

Calling All Builders

This Gerstein painting is an "architectural" work. Can you imagine an entire wall with this painting stretching across it. Or the side of a windowless building. His colors alone are that constructionist. He never ceases to amaze me.
Sidney Siegal
Philip Gerstein's painting: The Glorious Union of Greenland with Iceland

Jack Kerouac Trilogy
Kerouac, Clarise Lispector, Edward Hopper all in one play! Silva is an ingenious playwright with a wicked sense of humor. This is the kernel of a future film or maybe as a trilogy, a tasty mini- series. As the Orange Cuckoo says: We'll wait and see.
Lou Laird

    Jack Kerouac? Clarise Lispector? Edward Hopper? What kind of mind would put these three people in the same play, a Jack Kerouac trilogy? Altenir Silva's mind. He's Brazilian, like Lispector, and he's a NY Yankees fan, so he knows his Americana. Imagine what he might do in a longer form. Nós estamos esperando.
    George Vecsey

Altenir Silva's play: 1. Clarice & Jack

How To Poem
Nicely stated. I'd only add: there are no rules, only good and bad choices, and if after all this, you find yourself unhappily having to force yourself to write poetry, quit! There's no shame in not writing poetry though the Creative Writing Industry would have you believe otherwise. However, becoming a sensitive and perceptive reader of poetry is a noble and worthwhile endeavor.
Jefferson Carter

    Delightful. It reads as if Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley had put their heads together at the request of Harold Ross. And yes, poeming while driving or operating heavy machinery can be hazardous to your health!
    Miles David Moore


    I love what Greg Luce is doing in How to Poem. We need poetry now more than ever. So many good suggestions.
    Karren Alenier

Gregory Luce's column: How To Poem

The Fire Next Time

Many thanks to Michael Bettencourt for reminding us that James Baldwin was a "trumpet on the mountain" of his time and still today as Frederick Douglass was in his time, and still today. Their voices can't be drowned out, as Mr. Bettencourt says: "Not at all ".
Berk Redmond
Michael Bettencourt's column: The Fire Next Time

Faeries et al
Here, dear Arthur, are a few thoughts from better minds than mine and I'm sure part of your Faeries' creed:
There are no facts, only interpretations.
There are no answers, only choices.
We are predetermined to repeat the past.
It took me a while and several read-throughs to realize that this essay is an undisguised sub-text with many interesting metaphors and shadowed similes. Clever, a trifle insidious, blandly provocative. It's a good read.
Betel Hershowitz

    Sadly, I don't think there are any faeries left in the Americas. They were driven out by the Scots-Irish-British-German-Spanish invasions which replaced them with goblins, trolls and social medianiks. And that includes my ancestors who couldn't even spell the word correctly, uh... who couldn't even spell.
    Michael Aptrow

Arthur Danin Adler's column: The Last of My Faeries

Evocative and Masterful

I thought Karren Alenier's "pennydreadful of a great nation" was absolutely brilliant. Each vignette or section is more evocative than the last. It really captured the horrors we are living through with wit, wisdom and sorrow for our current predicament. She has done a masterful job in capturing the sorry state of our nation; I hope that after November 3 she can turn her talents to celebrating a new dawn.
Nancy Braymer

    Thank you to Karren Alenier and to the editors of Scene4 for this entertaining way of using a past style of writing to set forth the horrors of our present situation. It tells our current and awful story, artfully presented!
    JoAnne Growney


    Gertrude Stein, Jonathan Swift and Terry Southern walk into a bar: That's my description of Karren Alenier's "pennydreadful of a great nation." It is exactly the sort of witty, all-encompassing satire we need right now, and kudos to Alenier for providing it. Meanwhile, may the actual Penny Dreadful we're living through have a happy ending!
    Miles David Moore


    Wow !! This IS something. What a consciousnessraising. I love how she represents so many viewpointsall. She will be like Shakespeare - making up new words by combining them: moonbeam, farmhouse, dewdrop ....
    Mary Anne Braymer

Karren Alenier's column: pennydreadful of a great nation

Knitting and Guillotines
Claudine's piece is laugh-out-loud hilarious. She captures well the landmines of language laid out for us today, where even the simplest statement, such as Jack's "Bob, you want to go first?", triggers grievance and retribution. As she says at the end of her essay, our language hubs these days are like the Bastille: "no yogurt and chocolate, only knitting and guillotines."
Michael Bettencourt
Claudine Jones' column: Gobshite


Prior Letters


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December 2020

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