I sincerely hope John Harris is correct and “the age of the automobile” is indeed “drawing to a close” (Owning a car will soon be a thing of the past, 23 October). I have a driveway outside my home and in it there is a car. But I have never learned to drive; it is my wife who faces up to that bothersome chore. She occasionally loses patience with me, imploring me to “man up” and learn. But it looks terribly scary out on the roads. The quicker “the use of cars is … overtaken by altogether greener, more liberating possibilities” the better, I say.
• As a leaner towards Buddhism myself, I appreciate Pam Stanier’s comments on the lack of sila within Westminster (Letters, 21 October). I wonder though, how she feels about the ethics of Myanmar in its treatment of minorities.
St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan
• Interesting to see a full-page advert for the consultation on reopening the Bristol-Portishead branch railway (Guardian, 23 October). Especially as a year ago, only a few miles away, Network Rail sneaked through the demolition of the footbridge at Pilning station (thus reducing its already-skeletal service to one-direction only) with no meaningful consultation at all.
• Conversations among the dead are not confined to the novels of George Saunders and Máirtín Ó Cadhain (Letters, 23 October). The groundbreaking Mexican novel Pedro Páramo (1955) by Juan Rulfo is a beautifully written reflection on memory, love and death, featuring a largely dead cast, speaking from their graves.
• The granddaddy of modern tales involving “graveyard voices” is surely Dostoyevsky’s strange and alarming short story Bobok (1873).
Washington, West Sussex
• Emmanuel Macron’s dog pisses against an ornamental fireplace in his gilded office (Report, 23 October). Surely it would have been more newsworthy if it was the president and not the dog who had done the pissing.
Hayling Island, Hampshire
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