Lack of Funds Delays Freud Exhibit
The editorial "Exhibit Brouhaha," Dec. 26, criticizes the Library of Congress for postponing its exhibition on Sigmund Freud. It also accuses us of trying to dodge a controversy about Freud's legacy. This is not so.
As has happened with other exhibitions, we were short $350,000 in private money to mount the exhibit in 1996 as planned. We have now rescheduled the show, "Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture," for the fall of 2000. In addition, 2000 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams" and the year when donor restrictions will be lifted from the papers of Freud's daughter, Anna, also in the Library's collections. Many professional groups have applauded this decision and offered support in our fund-raising efforts.
As for the removal of our small traveling exhibition, "Back of the Big House: The Cultural Landscape of the Plantation," with which the editorial also takes issue, library managers took it down because it opened, without adequate preparation or explanation, in an area used principally by our staff. Its ambiguous title and inappropriate location offended numerous employees of all races. This exhibit was designed to travel - not to be installed at the Library of Congress. We are pleased it is being shown at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library and will move to other venues this year.
Intellectual integrity is not in jeopardy at the Library of Congress. These two actions were unrelated to each other and unrelated to political correctness.
Associate Librarian for Library Services
The Library of Congress
A closer look at Russia's culture
Regarding the article "Mushrooms Sprout in Russian Life and Culture," Dec. 28: As our world seems to get smaller and our cultures more homogeneous, it is wonderful to read of perspectives and features unique to a specific culture.
Reading this article put human faces on the Russian people we normally read of only in terms of their politics, economy, or military moves. The article gave me a lot to think about and motivated me to read the literary works the author mentions to discover the passages about mushrooms.
Public lands at stake in Nevada
I was disappointed with the front-page article "Sagebrush Rebels Take on Uncle Sam," Jan. 3. What's at stake here are public lands - lands belonging to all citizens of the United States. Most Nevadans care deeply about the magnificent public lands in this state and do not want to see them trashed by anyone. Rancher Wayne Hage and Richard Carver (a Nye County, Nev., commissioner fighting for "home rule" over federal land) have the same responsibility to obey the laws of the United States as other citizens and must be cited when they break these laws.
Building a family starts in the home
Regarding the article "Who Can Help Today's Parents? Spock Is Not Enough," Jan. 4: I was sadly reminded of the so-called breakdown of the American family.
Who did parents turn to for help with their children before Benjamin Spock? Their own parents. Before we separated grandparents from the family circle, we had consistent, time-tested advice on child-rearing. Our definition of family - subtracting relatives and adding intellectual professionals in the form of how-to books and family therapists - has led to a high divorce rate and juvenile delinquency. The government cannot take us back to basic family values, and neither can Dr. Spock. Only individuals within our families can reignite the home fires that draw us closer together, creating the firm foundation for today's youth and future generations.
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