Letters on the WSWS Arts Review

Dear Editor,

I only just learned to use the Internet at the beginning of this month, so I have not become familiar with most of the sites that now are included in my reading day until just a few days ago. I just discovered the WSWS this evening when looking up reviews of a film I watched on video tonight— Rushmore. I am so glad to find you. I think that this web site will give me a lot of sustenance. The reviews of The Insider and Ghost Dog were the best reviews I've seen in a long time. I read the interview with Iris Dement as well. It's a bit late to get into the core news material— I am looking forward to checking it out tomorrow—but your arts writing is highly political and I have really longed to see such an approach combined with brilliant aesthetic analysis which your writers appear to have.


30 May 2000

Dear Ms. Villon,

Your article about the French writer Balzac was very interesting. I know nothing about Balzac or his writings, apart from the information contained in your article on his life and work.

But the last section entitled "Balzac the observer" has universal relevance. In Sydney last year a number of talk-back radio kings were caught taking huge amounts of cash and goods for disguised on-air advertising. Naturally there was a good deal of discussion about the ethics of such behaviour—as if it represented simply the personal failings of individuals.

Marx's description of the July monarchy in your article reminded me of another famous passage of Marx in The Poverty of Philosophy. After describing the history of exchange, from barter—where the productive forces are limited and therefore exchange restricted—through to large-scale industry, where the whole of industrial existence passes into commerce, Marx concludes with the following; "It is the time of general corruption, of universal venality, or, to speak in terms of political economy, the time when everything moral or physical, having become a marketable value, is brought to the market to be assessed at its truest value" (p. 29).

Yours sincerely,

31 May 2000