Letters – Issue 26

Not 100% proof

Please! … how on earth could your compositor and proof-reader between them get “Heieta” from Heifetz for heaven’s sake!?? If I were more paranoid I’d say it was an attempt at bi-cultural  sanitizing of a Russo-Jewish name according to Waitangi principles.

I haven’t yet read the whole issue — but is this the only typo? A Lacanian deconstructionist would have a ball! … would he-or-she not?

Tim Garrity


Janet Hughes and I (my letter, her comment, New Zealand Books, August 1996) must be as close to agreement as we could be expected to get, over that late revision of an early poem of mine. Assuming that it was a proof-copy of my letter as it appeared, I marvel that she made as much sense of it as she did, your typesetters having made such a mess of its crucial second paragraph — the phrase “in relation” for my word relating, a “the” for my them, an “I” for my It; the omission of 18 words following my word disappeared, viz, altogether in revision. And any significance the loss of an upper-case may be fancied to possess disappears likewise, et seq. If you will permit me one more not altogether niggling word, arising from Janet Hughes’s comment: no version of the poem uses the expression “Sons of Man”; the correct reading is “sons of men”, if for no other reasons (of which there are plenty) than signalling the rhyme with “again” and avoiding a dissonance which might pass for some ears but not mine.

Allen Curnow

Our apologies to both letter-writers. We are taking steps which we hope will put a stop to these sorts of things. — Editor.

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