¿Cómo se dice ‘homonym’?
I assure you that I share your contempt for the Affordable Care Act, but one of your criticisms of the Spanish-language site is undeserved (The Week, February 10). In Spanish, “prima” is the correct word for a financial or economic premium, as in the term “prima de riesgo” (risk premium). At least they got something right.
Museums, Not Mausoleums
Michael Knox Beran must surely have expected, when he characterized museums as “little mausoleums of dead culture” in his recent essay (“The Age of the Ugly,” February 24), that he would provoke a response from the alleged undertakers. We, apparently, operate under the misapprehension that collecting, conserving, displaying, and teaching the public about art actually brings these glories of past and present to life. What bothers Mr. Beran more: that our cultural heritage is being preserved at all (“embalmed,” in his words), or that it falls to museums to perform this work? People hold on to precious things; that is our nature. And other people would like to have a look at these precious things now and then. Where else would one expect Titian, Greuze, Canova, etc. to be kept available for public view: in their original private collections? When have such great works ever been more accessible and more valued than in the present day? Museums may not occupy a position of primary importance in the daily life of the “New Western” man, but I don’t think Mr. Beran can assert that our public spaces have suffered aesthetically because museums have made great art available to a degree unprecedented in history.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Our American Dream
In the December 31 issue, Charles C. W. Cooke wrote, “I don’t know why merely glimpsing the Statue of Liberty brings tears to my eyes . . . it just does.” Well, reading his piece, “My American Dream,” brought tears to mine. And as one born in America, I know why.