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Letters to the World “Series” by Jascha Kessler

Monday, October 31, 2016


Letters to the Editor



Dear Letters Editor:

Virginia Heffernan’s in-your-face nonsense in urging Hillary Clinton to “speak out about her husband’s infidelity” is a basket of social-psychological pretensions professing to know something about marriage and men, let alone women!  [9 October]  Has she counselled serial adulterer Clinton  and learned the what or why of his “compulsions”?  The Donald may be an immature exhibitionist and public braggart, but Bill may exemplify the old French saw: The heart has its reasons [or logic].

As for Hillary, has Heffernan had her on the couch to reveal the intimate facts of her wedded life?  A woman once told me, “We women are all liars.”  And indeed throughout history most of them may well have had, so to say, the ‘short end of the stick,” what with childbearing and the burdens of domestic life.  Do males know anything much about Woman qua Woman, let alone their own women whether in married or partnered life?  It might shock most men were they to be let in on secrets concealed from them.

In short we know next to nothing about the Clinton marriage and the state of things beyond its [properly] closed door.  Hillary’s female supporters should keep focused on the record and what’s made public daily in Wiki leaks.


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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