The Maxim Gun
Luke Swank

Subject: The Maxim Gun

I would like to use the picture above for a publication.

I found it in you Number 104.

Could you be so kind to send me further
Details, if possible.

--- Thomas Kolnberger
University of Luxembourg

§     §     §

Hi, Professor Kolnberger:

And thanks for your enquiry.

The photograph you are asking about is apparently a demonstration, complete with tie, fedora, and winter coat, of the use of a Maxim machine gun --- lodged, as you will note, just so between the gentleman's legs along with a bevy of spent shells.

The photograph may have come from the book under review, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power by Niall Ferguson. It came to us from Basic books, so you might ask them if the picture belongs to them.

Other than that, since it was published a rather long time ago (Fall, 2003) we are as baffled as you. Though we do remain more or less entranced with the pose of this bearded, becoated man, and his beloved Maxim.

--- Ed


Subject: Old Fassenden supporter revived, and,
Re: excerpts used as teasers

I was thrilled to find you after many years. Issues of the paper Fassenden Review brighten up an otherwise tedious bookshelf here...

Anyway, I think the book review excerpts you're picking to draw people deeper in don't capture the oddly restrained quality of the complete reviews. I think you'd do better using the actual first paragraphs of the reviews --- they really are intriguing.

I can't believe that Fassenden lives. Are you on the west coast? in NY? Using a NY analogy, I'm OK with Ralph but like Avenue of the Americas could not bury 6th Avenue, so the mispelled, misunderstood Fassenden will outlive the acronym.

--- Bill Gottlieb

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Hi, Bill:

And thanks.

Fessenden (the correct spelling) was a good-hearted Canadian crackpot who, it is said, invented radio. Or helped invent it. (Like the Internet, it has many fathers and mothers ... and a few million babies).

The reason we pick and choose sentences from the body of the reviews to put on our home page is that our reviewers tend to be wandervögel. Sometimes they meander all over the place before they get down to business. Thus to protect the reader from (as one recent review did) starting out with reflections on the author's early movie experiences and ending up with a diatribe on McCarthyism ... we begin at the middle and go until we get to both ends, simultaneously.

--- Ed


Subject: Luke Swank

FYI. My grandfather got my father the job on the circus. Both Luke and his father and my father were circus fans and liked circus people. And his works were not grim, they show that there is beauty in everything. Look with open eyes.

--- Grace Swank-Davis
The Theatre Museum
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