How Books and People Intertwine
The first time I began reading Samuel Hughes’ article about Jo Roberts Gr’75 and Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania [“Strange Labyrinth,” November/December], the magazine fell open to the section dealing with Jo’s death, and I simply couldn’t go on with it. A few days later I picked it up and tried again, this time beginning at the beginning.

An informative and also a moving piece of work, it is, of course, very well-researched. But it’s also very well—and very powerfully—written. Hughes succeeds in giving a non-specialist reader a real sense of why such a book is a good thing to have at a library such as Penn’s. He also conveys a sense of Jo Roberts and [her husband] Jim Gaines that I found deeply gratifying.

For me, books are involved—always!—with people. This article makes clear how books and people intertwine, and I’d have admired it for that reason alone even had I no involvement in the tale myself.

Daniel Traister
Curator, Research Services,
Annenberg Rare Books and Manuscripts Library
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

Special Book, Special Story
“Strange Labyrinth” is very well done, informative, touching, and correct. I was in Washington at the Folger Shakespeare Library where I ran into Heather Wolfe, the curator of manuscripts, who stopped me to talk about the article, which she had just read. We agreed that it was really excellent, and we are glad both that the volume has gone to Penn and that the community has been alerted to how special it is.

Suzanne Gossett
Department of English, Loyola University Chicago

The writer was one of the editors of the Urania manuscript, who saw it to completion after Jo Roberts’ death.

Fitting Memorial
On behalf of the whole family, I want to thank Sam Hughes. He has really created a kind of monument to Jo’s memory without ever having known her himself, which is quite an achievement.

James F. Gaines Gr’77 Fredericksburg, VA

Engineering Success
Regarding Dr. Hamilton and the M&T Curriculum [“Gazetteer,” November/December], I believe credit for blending engineering with other disciplines should go to some forgotten dean who required us engineering students to take three or four courses in the Wharton School. We hated to enter these halls, which, as we all “knew,” were full of easy BS courses. But when my career blossomed, I realized the benefits of this exposure.

Oleg N. Dudkin ME’48 Berwyn, PA

Pound “Apology” Too Little, Too Late
In writing that “the anti-Semitism [Ezra Pound] felt was pervasive in the America of his youth and the Europe of his adulthood,” [“All Things Ornamental,” November/ December] Norman MacAfee is suggesting that we should therefore temper our criticism of the poet. However, the fact that so many of Pound’s contemporaries were anti-Semitic leads to an even more damaging assessment of his character: Pound, apparently, was neither bright enough nor sensitive enough to rise above the baseness that surrounded him.

While acknowledging that Pound’s 1967 apology was not “big enough,” MacAfee stresses that it was a “start.” If this apology that was not big enough was a start, then Pound did not finish. When did he ever apologize sufficiently for his dangerous stupidity?

Don Z. Block Gr’78 Malvern, PA

Poor Taste
I was very upset to see the recommendation of a book titled Stocking Up on Sin in the September/October Gazette [“Briefly Noted”].

In an age of Halliburton defense-contract scandals we should be more conscious as to how companies can put profits above doing well and providing valuable services for the community.

Eric Norman C’02 Toyota City, Aichi, Japan

Unfair Farewell
I was unpleasantly surprised to read the item in your obituary column about Sol A. Maksik W’37 [November/December, “Obituaries”]. Sol won several letters while at Penn. He was the third-string fullback behind Bill Kurlish and Elliott Wexler and won a championship for the boxing team.

It isn’t right that we should be saying farewell to a man with a record such as his without recognizing these achievements. The only way you could have said less is not to have said anything at all.

H. David Prensky C’38 D’43 Palm Beach, FL

Memories Wanted
Journalist interested in information, recollections, photocopies of photographs, etc ... relating to Quaker football in the 1920s, specifically the October 31, 1925, game between Illinois and Penn, in which Red Grange had an outstanding day. I want to understand the atmosphere at Franklin Field—what the vendors sold, how Louis Young coached, the typical cheers, celebrities in attendance, player rituals, etc ...
Please contact Gary Andrew Poole; 847 Hartzell St., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272; 310-230-6763;

©2005 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 01/05/05

Moving tribute,
dangerous stupidity,
wages of sin

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