To the Editors:

You are doing a good job. May you keep your reviewers writing with serious enthusiasm. I feel you may create an atmosphere that will answer Alfred Kazin’s complaint in Commentary a few years age when he wrote on the function of criticism (“to raise whirlwinds” of discussion). He mentioned that reviewers seem unable to stimulate lively discussion:

…It’s not that we lack an audience; it’s that the audience doesn’t know what it wants, is not sure what it thinks, is fundamentally uneasy with literature…”

The New York Review may help this audience discover what it thinks and become articulate.

Thorpe Menn

Kansas City Star

This Issue

December 12, 1963