November Letters

Readers respond to the September issue

Slings and Arrows

It strikes me as odd that Oxfordians challenge Shakespeare's authorship because the "Stratford man" never attended university ("To Be or Not to Be Shakespeare"). British literature is full of writers who did not receive a university education—Jane Austen, George Orwell, John Keats, to name a few—yet produced work of timeless brilliance. Why should Shakespeare be any different?

Charles Green
Annapolis, Maryland

I suppose I may never see the day when educated people agree as to the "real" author of the Shakespeare plays, but I am thankful that we have reached the point where the matter can be discussed without the participants pretending the whole thing is a joke. I have one complaint. Anyone casually reading the caption with the portrait of Edward de Vere (currently the most promising of the candidates) would suppose that there is a valid reason for eliminating him from the list. De Vere did die in 1604, but not necessarily "before a number of Shakespeare's plays were written." "Orthodox" biographers have compiled a list of the dates the plays were written, but since these had to conform to the "Stratford man's" history, their accuracy is highly suspect to those who believe he had nothing to do with their authorship.

Gerald J. Cavanaugh
Cincinnati, Ohio

Nice try, but as every true Marlovian knows, Shakespeare's works were actually written by Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe's "death" at Deptford was an obvious fraud, and he lived his remaining days as an exile on the Continent, partly as a spy for the Earl of Essex. Mention of him ceases about the same time as Shakespeare's "retirement." If you're going to tout conspiracy theories, please stick with the best.

Janice Faye Joyner
Rochester, Minnesota

No More Cannibalism

"Sleeping with Cannibals" had part of me fretting over the loss of another native culture, but a larger part feeling that this cannibal culture must change. The story of 6-year-old Wawa, marked for future slaughter, disturbs me greatly. My heart aches for this child, whose parents have died and who has lost his treehouse home because some think he is a khakhua (a witch) deserving to be killed and eaten. Cultural change is not always a bad thing. I fear that for Wawa, it will not come soon enough.

Alison Johnson
Hillsboro, Oregon

On September 24, Wawa and another Korowai boy accused of being a khakhua reached the Indonesian city of Jayapura, where they will live and attend school. They were escorted by their uncles and author Paul Raffaele's guide, Kornelius Kembaren. —Ed.

Whose New York?

I have no doubt that Pete Hamill's "Five Years Later" is meant to be an inspiring tale about the strength of New Yorkers who endured the atrocity that struck our city. However, I am troubled with his assertion that "almost all New Yorkers, old and new, have gotten over September 11, 2001." I am from a part of Queens, Rockaway Beach, that lost 70 residents that day. The neighborhood has been deeply affected by that horrific act of cowardice. I see individuals who continue to suffer from having lost family members, loved ones and friends. Mr. Hamill discusses some of the remaining problems from 9/11, but he omits the plight of those exposed to the noxious fumes that permeated the site in the aftermath of the attack. Many survivors, first responders and other rescue workers who answered our city's urgent distress call have been diagnosed with breathing-related maladies. To be sure, New Yorkers have responded in an inspirational manner to the effects of 9/11, but from my perspective the tragedy isn't something that this city has "gotten over."

John Briody
Rockaway Beach, New York

Child Labor Still Exists

Lewis Hine's photo of child worker Addie Card ("Through the Mill") alerted Americans to the reality of child labor, but the problem persists in many parts of the world, where children are still held as virtual slaves because of tradition, culture, corrupt governments and police, poverty and war. The International Labor Organization, an agency of the United Nations, estimates that 218 million children between ages 5 and 17 work, and that 126 million toil in hazardous jobs in mining, manufacturing, construction and agriculture. We need another Lewis Hine to spotlight the worldwide problem of child labor.

Theresa Lorbiecki
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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