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Letters to the World “Series” by Jascha Kessler

Monday, June 5, 2017
Letters to the Editor
FINANCIAL TIMES
London
Sir:
Keeping in mind William Blake’s “proverbs”: You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough! and Enough! or Too much! may it be permitted to ask what PM May had, has, or will have in mind when she declared, “Enough is enough!” What may have to be considered is the reported imprecation of those killed terrorists on London Bridge: “This is for Allah!”
Our statesmen will have to recognize a phenomenon as ancient as Homo sapiens, no matter what ideology is immanent in no matter what theology. For instance. derived from Rudyard Kipling’s writings, GUNGA DIN, a movie some of us 10-year old lads saw in 1939, offered a scene in which worshipers of the goddess Kali rushed from her temple shouting, Kill! For the love of Kali, Kill! Kill! A slogan we shouted as a half-dozen of us pummeled one another laughing and rolling about in the grass or on the floor of dark cellars. We outgrew that, or supposed we did, those of us still alive. In short, we’d soon had too much more-than-enough.
If May’s Enough is enough! is indeed, as Blake suggested, Too much! what, may it be asked, is to be done regarding grown-up terrorists who, following the dictates of their religious teaching, kill innocents in a crowd strolling on London Bridge? What is to be faced may well be the society from which their war cry emanates. It can never prove enough simply for police to shoot down jihadists at the scene of slaughter.
Sincerely,
Jascha Kessler

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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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