20 OCTOBER 2001, Page 36

From Mr Michael Jackson

Sir: Richard Dorment claims that releasing modern conceptual art from traditional constraints is like telling a writer that he doesn't have to write poetry, but is free to cover fiction, biography, political journalism, social commentary or religious affairs'. Not so. It is more like telling a writer that he doesn't have to create his own structure of words, but is free to offer a page of yesterday's newspaper, a takeaway pizza advertisement, a cutting from a railway timetable or even a blank sheet of paper. Such offerings, where an original work of literature is expected, may sometimes be amusing or shocking, and their sheer perversity may even provoke thought in their disappointed recipients. But they are not writing, and those who offer them are not writers.

Michael Jackson

London NW8