Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fervid, often inaccurate, and borderline libelous …

… Richard Seymour’s Tawdry Christopher Hitchens Bio - Newsweek and The Daily Beast. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What many saw as a rather straightforward argument between the right to publish and religious totalitarianism was in fact a far more nuanced “saga” that “was saturated with these meanings and could not be limited to the issue of free speech that Hitchens preferred to fight.” Seymour is either ignorant or lying when he writes that “the editorials and clerical bluster in Iran had yielded little.” Ignore, for a moment, their effect on Rushdie, forced into hiding for a decade merely because he wrote a book that angered an Iranian dictator, or the lasting, silencing effect that such a death sentence puts on all writers. Think instead of Hitoshi Igarashi, the novel’s Japanese translator who was stabbed to death; Ettore Capriolo, its Italian translator who was seriously wounded in a stabbing; William Nygaard, the Norwegian publisher who was shot three times; or the 37 people killed in a 1993 bombing that targeted a Turkish writer who had translated and published portions of the book.

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