To the Editors:

Word has recently been received that Efim G. Etkind, a literary scholar of undisputed brilliance and broad international reputation, has been summarily dismissed from his post at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute in Leningrad and from membership in the Union of Writers.

It is inconceivable that this action could have been taken on other than ideological grounds.

As we believe not only in political détente but also in the absolute freedom of scholars everywhere to pursue and declare what they find to be the truth, we protest in the strongest possible terms the unfounded dismissal of a distinguished Soviet colleague from his academic post.

And we call upon others in the worldwide readership of the NYR who feel as we do to make known the outrage and despair evoked once again by the routine inhumanity of Soviet officialdom.

Clarence Brown

Princeton University

Victor Erlich

Yale University

This Issue

June 27, 1974