Musical kids’ menu
Congratulations to Jeremy Eichler on raising the very important issues he did in his review of the Takács Quartet! (“Takács recital, tailored for Boston,” g, Nov. 19). It is truly pathetic when audiences in the Boston/Cambridge area, where there are so many universities, conservatories, and cultural organizations, are offered the kids’ menu when visiting musicians come to perform. It’s about time we got treated like adults.
I just read Joel Brown’s article on the theater piece “D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks” (“Where memory has vanished, but imagination remains,” g, Nov. 9). I was unable to sleep thinking about how to support caregivers for people with Lewy body dementias in the UK. Brown’s article was so well written and on such an inspiring topic it has given some meaning to my insomnia! I’ll be following up with [Sandglass Theater artistic directors] Eric Bass and his wife, Ines Zeller Bass.
Lewy Body Society
Hextable, Kent, UK
I read with great interest Sebastian Smee’s article on the Barnum circus and the story of Jumbo (“Step Right Up,” Arts, Nov. 11). As the story goes, after P.T. Barnum had him “preserved,” Jumbo continued to be associated with the circus.
At some point, Barnum himself donated Jumbo to Tufts University. Jumbo was put on display at the university. The mascot for the school was an elephant.
I might also add that [circus performer] Tom Thumb and his wife lived here in Middleborough.
I spy an insult
I had given up on reading Wesley Morris’s reviews for a while, as his writing is so convoluted. Morris writes in a way that only those who share his rarified air will fully understand. I thought I would try again with his review of “Skyfall” (“No franchise for an old man,” g, Nov. 7). I thought, how contorted could his language get over a James Bond film? Yet there he goes again, from the first paragraph. I’m sure he gets off on writing in this arrogant way, telling himself it is art, but for the regular reader, it’s premeditated torture — and I have a BA in English from Columbia and have published some short stories. Sorry to be insulting, but every time I read one of Morris’s reviews I feel insulted.
I sometimes find it entertaining to read one-star reviews of a movie, TV show, or book. But Wesley Morris’s review of “Alex Cross” (“Tyler Perry Cross-dresses to ill effect,” g, Oct. 19) left me bewildered all the way through, and thus annoyed.
What is it with critics anyhow? Their job is not to bedazzle readers with their vast knowledge of every pertinent fact under the sky, but to precisely inform or alert the reader: Here’s how this movie deserves attention, this book is altogether forgettable, that TV show really is must-see TV, and here’s why. Using an obscurantist writing style doesn’t help a reviewer successfully convey his assessment. Rather, it leaves many readers befogged, wondering if perhaps the critic slept through half of the movie, didn’t read the whole book, or skipped most of the TV show.
A little more clarity, please.
Beethoven and beyond
For years I’ve intended to send a note on how much I enjoy reading Jeremy Eichler’s music criticism in the Globe. Eichler’s most recent piece that was special was his “Third Ear” column about Beethoven’s bust (“Composed in marble,” Arts, Oct. 28). Aside from being the story behind an artwork on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, it was a poignant reminder of the artistic contribution made by the cultural aesthetics of Central Europe that thrived up to the start of the 20th century and then was destroyed by the two wars. But even Eichler’s short reviews, such as the one on Midori, are rewarding — filled with a keen sense of musicianship and deep understanding of string playing. Thank you.
ETE Z. SZUTS
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