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Letters to the World “Series” by Jascha Kessler

28 September 2016

 

Letters to the Editor

FINANCIAL TIMES

London

Sir:

So very many FT captions and OpEds use the words “should” and “must,” wielding the muscular authority native to a free press.  Martin Wolf is no exception—at least until today’s “If trust crumbles, the west is lost.”  [28 September]  Wolf, whose minor at Oxford was Classics, surely knows the history of Athens’ fatal loss of power because of the famous and notorious Alcibiades’s many mistakes and shenanigans as a leader.  And yet, after an extensive review of the Donald’s career, one altogether as wild and ignorant as it is possible to be for a layman now candidate for our presidency, a review confirming my inclination not to vote at all this November after having done so 18 times since 1948, Wolf concludes with, “[Trump’s] presidency might unravel the world.”

Might unravel”?  Not “could” or “would” nor even a daring “will unravel”?  Such paltering from the FT and its distinguished pundit?  I am shocked, shocked! [Famous words offered by Claude Rains in CASABLANCA.]

 

Sincerely,

Jascha Kessler

 

Emeritus Professor of Modern English & American Literature, UCLA

Santa Monica, CA

 

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Jascha Kessler
Born in New York City, Jascha Kessler (Ph.D., Litt.D.) has received varied research grants, prizes, and writing fellowships since 1952 when he won a Major Hopwood Award for Poetry (University of Michigan). They include the NEA Fellowship in Writing, two Senior Fulbright Awards to Italy and one to Czechoslovakia. Since 1961, he has been a Professor of English & Modern Literature at UCLA, also teaching poetry, fiction, and playwrighting. In 1979, Mr. Kessler was a Rockefeller Fellow and worked at the Bellagio Study Center, completing his translation (with Amin Banani) of the Persian poet Forugh Farrokhzad: BRIDE OF ACACIAS: THE POETRY OF FORUGH FARROKHZAD (Caravan Books, Delmar, NY: 1983). He won a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction Writing for 1993-1994. He reviewed fiction and poetry weekly, theater and events on the air for KUSC-FM (Los Angeles) for 5 years in the 1980s; several dozen of his reviews, both broadcast and published in magazines and papers since the 1960s, have been anthologized in CONTEMPORARY LITERARY CRITICISM (Gale Research) over the decades. His literary essays have appeared widely. He also served as Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica, California, from 1990-1996. In 2001, his translation of TRAVELING LIGHT from the Finnish won the Finnish Literary Translation Centre Award. Kessler has published several collections of fiction. AN EGYPTIAN BONDAGE, & Other Stories (Harper & Row, NY: 1967); DEATH COMES FOR THE BEHAVIORIST: 4 Long Stories (Lexis Press, San Francisco, CA: 1983); CLASSICAL ILLUSIONS: 28 Stories (McPherson & Co.: Kingston, NY, 1985); and TRANSMIGRATIONS: 18 Mythologems (Jazz Press: Capitola, CA: 1985). His latest collection, SIREN SONGS & CLASSICAL ILLUSIONS: 50 Stories", was published by McPherson & Co., in December of 1992. Also a novel, RAPID TRANSIT 1948: An Unsentimental Education (Xlibris 2000) and a second edition of AN EGYPTIAN BONDAGE (Xlibris 2000). He has also published three volumes of poetry: WHATEVER LOVE DECLARES (The Plantin Press: Los Angeles, CA: 1969; AFTER THE ARMIES HAVE PASSED (NYU Press: NY: 1970); and, IN MEMORY OF THE FUTURE (Kayak Press, Santa Cruz, CA: 1976). Also, revised as COLLECTED POEMS (Xlibris 2000). In 2013 his KING SOLOMON’S SEAL: 76 AND MORE FABLES, was published (xLibris.com, in hardback, paperback, ebook versions).

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