Letter: Koestler assault

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The gleeful assault in the press on the now defenceless Arthur Koestler ironically has all the characteristics of the show trials he did so much to expose ("Storm as Raphael defends rapist Koestler", 23 February).

Mr Raphael's argument, in Prospect, is that it would be imbalanced to allow certain alleged sexual acts completely to eclipse Koestler's life work; the accusations against Koestler are serious, but they do not negate him. Koestler will long be valued for his devastating description of the twisted mentality and physical brutality of Soviet communism.

We are all complex beings, striving to balance conflicting tensions within us, and sometimes we behave badly - even those of us who have not undergone the kind of extreme mental suffering that Koestler did.

The Independent has recently mocked America for a tawdry obsession with people's sex lives; what a shame that it now collaborates in the reduction of Arthur Koestler's life and work to a sex scandal.

MARTIN BUCKLEY

London W11

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