In response to:

Tom Wolfe's Greatest Hits from the November 4, 1982 issue

To the Editors:

It has just come to my attention—having taken the waters at Marienbad late this year—that a reference to my person appeared in your limp organ of November 4th. As a gentleman, as well as one of Europe’s leading scholars, I have to protest. If Joe Walcot chooses to find a chink in the sainted Tom Wolfe’s armor because of his favourable review of my Odyssey, you should have had the grace (no pun intended) not to allow such an old guilt by association ploy to appear in your effete tool. Flesh featured, filthy foreigners of the Arab persuasion, and the Shylock-like types that bootlick them for profit—as described by me in the Spectator, do not necessarily make me an anti-Semite. But it does betray a certain desperation on the part of your hack Joe Willows.

The particular passage that offended James Willoughby did not even appear in the book the sainted TW reviewed, and to which Jersey Joe took exception.

In the future, I beg you sir, to try and keep your blows above the belt. If you don’t, by God, I shall personally see you off the grounds with my Holland and Holland.


The Old Rectory

The Vicarage

The Cottage, Dinas Powis

Loch Ness, Wales

This Issue

January 20, 1983