Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

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Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#1  Postby DougC » Apr 28, 2015 8:40 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-32477551
B.B.C. Article
Six prominent writers are boycotting a major US literary event over plans to give satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo a freedom of speech award.
Authors including The English Patient writer Michael Ondaatje and Peter Carey will not attend the PEN Literary Gala in New York on 5 May.
They said PEN - known for defending imprisoned writers - was stepping beyond its traditional role.
Islamists stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January.

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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#2  Postby Varangian » Apr 28, 2015 10:46 pm

I have only heard of Ondaatje; the others are nonentities to me. It is their right to boycott, and I suppose they are spineless enough to never risk angering any religious fanatics, so they are probably safe.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#3  Postby tuco » Apr 28, 2015 11:01 pm

Below are the key documents giving rise to the controversy that has erupted inside PEN America over the award the group is bestowing on Charlie Hebdo, which you can read about here. They include the key correspondence between the writer Deborah Eisenberg (pictured, above left) and PEN’s Executive Director Suzanne Nossel (above, right), which sparked the controversy, as well as the full comment given to the Intercept by the writer Teju Cole, who has withdrawn as a table head. The Intercept has also submitted several questions to Nossel, which are posted below; we will prominently post PEN’s responses as soon as they are received.


https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015 ... bdo-award/
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#4  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 4:51 am

Hot potato .. cant agree with them but cant really bash them either eh? Its alright.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#5  Postby quisquose » Apr 29, 2015 10:21 am

Francine Prose tries, and fails, to defend her position here:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -pen-award

I am somewhat reassured by the BTL comments which rip her arguments to shreds.

There is also this:

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/culturehou ... so-stupid/
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#6  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 10:53 am

Rip argument to shreds? lol Like on this board. Arguments are ripped and truth revealed ;)

Lets see some arguments then, right from the top:

An award for courage is inevitably an award for the value in whose service courage has been exercised. In the case of the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award that value is “freedom of expression.” But freedom of expression too, is a very broad designation. Anything at all can be expressed, and just because something is expressed doesn’t ensure that it has either virtue or meaning.

I have read – and heard – that “equal opportunity offence” is the aspiration of Charlie Hebdo. But how is such an aspiration to be fulfilled unless the disparate “targets” of offence occupy an equal position and have an equivalent meaning within the dominant culture?

I don’t doubt that the Charlie Hebdo staff is, and was, entirely sincere in its anarchic expressions of principled disdain toward organized religion. But although the magazine apparently disdains all organized religion, certain expressions of anti-Semitism are illegal in France, so Judaism is out of bounds for satire. In fact, the author of a purported anti-Semitic slur in a 2008 Charlie Hebdo column was fired. Therefore, in pursuing its goal of inclusive mockery of large organized religions, at least those that have a conspicuous presence in France, Charlie Hebdo has been more or less confined to Catholicism and Islam.


How about this? How come making the world better place by bashing Jews, its not like there is no reason right?, is not allowed?

Rip it
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#7  Postby quisquose » Apr 29, 2015 11:24 am

What about this exactly? That anti-Semitism and libel are not equivalent to religious satire?
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#8  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 29, 2015 11:30 am

:popcorn:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#9  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 11:51 am

quisquose wrote:What about this exactly? That anti-Semitism and libel are not equivalent to religious satire?


But although the magazine apparently disdains all organized religion, certain expressions of anti-Semitism are illegal in France, so Judaism is out of bounds for satire.


---

edit:

'Anti-Semitic' satire divides liberal Paris - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/a ... publishing

btw when it will be ripped to shreds let me know because I do not think I can tell
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#10  Postby OlivierK » Apr 29, 2015 2:01 pm

In the 1990's Peter Carey lived not far from where I live now. While we moved here after he left, he's still got ties here such as being patron of our local writers' festival, and his Booker-winning novel is partly set here. I've always enjoyed his writing, but he's completely wrong about this.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#11  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 2:17 pm

That is one of the problems I see here and that is why I post here. He cannot be wrong because he holds opinion. We do not have to agree but that is about it.

Saying that he is wrong - you will surely correct yourself now saying "in your opinion he's wrong " - is not only inaccurate it contributes to notion that there are wrong and right opinions or believes.

How is he wrong? That he thinks the award should not be given to Charlie Hebdo? Or perhaps wrong about boycotting ceremony he does not agree with? Again and again on this very board its being demonstrated how arguments alone and metaphysic cannot prove anything, but sometimes arguments can be shred to pieces and metaphysic can prove right and wrong?

No just no.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#12  Postby OlivierK » Apr 29, 2015 2:27 pm

If an opinion can't be wrong, why the fuck would you ask me, or expect me, to "correct" myself, eh?
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#13  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 2:39 pm

Because you did not say .. in my opinion.

But seriously, if we cant even agree that opinions, by their nature or definition, cannot be wrong, chances are that we will be talking past each other every time opinions, unlike facts, are debated which is like all the time.

I have not followed the case when it happened. Consciously. However, and no matter facts and opinions raised then, this aftermath is part of larger debate than what happened to people at Charlie Hebdo. But there is none.

First post, well, suppose spineless cowards .. . Right opinion, I guess. Second is mine with some background. Next is argument shredded and finally yours completely wrong.

Is this like when you come from holidays and tell everyone how the water was or something? Because this is not debate, even small one. This is: we made up our minds already and now we are going to tell everyone.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#14  Postby OlivierK » Apr 29, 2015 3:08 pm

Of course we can agree that opinions are not absolutes. We're talking past each other because even though it's completely fucking clear that opinions are subjective, you claim that you don't understand that unless I write "in my opinion" next to something that's clearly an opinion in something I wrote. "I've always enjoyed his writing, but he's completely wrong about this." and "I've always enjoyed his writing, but I think he's completely wrong about this." are the same sentence. Take your off-topic meta-wibbling elsewhere.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#15  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 3:15 pm

I do not believe I claimed that. I said:

Saying that he is wrong - you will surely correct yourself now saying "in your opinion he's wrong " - is not only inaccurate it contributes to notion that there are wrong and right opinions or believes.


Where its the said notion I find problematic. Its not that I do not understand, I am questioning if you understand that he cannot be wrong since you said he was.

Anyway, how come he is wrong? I for example find the opening argument about "equal opportunity offence" and "some groups being more equal than others", sound.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#16  Postby OlivierK » Apr 29, 2015 3:23 pm

Of for fuck's sake. Sorry, tuco, but it's pointless continuing this discussion with you. That's an opinion, by the way, and so can't be wrong.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#17  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 3:28 pm

Hot potato. Thanks anyway, I did not mean to aggravate you.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#18  Postby Panderos » Apr 29, 2015 3:41 pm

OlivierK wrote:Of for fuck's sake. Sorry, tuco, but it's pointless continuing this discussion with you. That's an opinion, by the way, and so can't be wrong.

Tell me instead then. How is he 'wrong?'

In the unlikely event I find myself unable to respond I delegate Tuco to do so on my behalf. I hope that is ok. :whistle:
"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#19  Postby OlivierK » Apr 29, 2015 3:49 pm

It's nearly 2am here, so you're not getting anything long, or possibly coherent, today. Carey said he didn't think Charlie Hebdo was relevant to PEN's mission as it wasn't a case of government infringement on free speech, and I think that's too narrow a focus. The Spectator article that quisquose linked is close to my own views.
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Re: Authors boycott PEN gala over Charlie Hebdo award

#20  Postby tuco » Apr 29, 2015 4:05 pm

Fair enough, I do not demand. Though I admit I find what I called "larger debate" of concern.

So for example, stuff like this:

This, I submit, is a revolting pose. There’s nothing liberal about it. Rather it is simply craven. Undaunted, however, Ms Prose tunnels further into a cave of witlessness. Apparently, you see, ‘I also don’t feel that it is the mission of PEN to fight the war on terrorism; that is the role of our government. Our job, in presenting an award, is to honor writers and journalists who are saying things that need to be said, who are working actively to tell us the truth about the world in which we live. That is important work that requires perseverance and courage. And this is not quite the same as drawing crude caricatures and mocking religion.’

Again, you will notice, with the dying-for-your-right-to-work-is-not-enough nonsense. No-one, meanwhile, is asking PEN to ‘fight the war on terrorism’. All anyone proposes is that PEN might honour some of the journalistic victims of that war.


?

How it is nonsense? It something to dis/agree with but nonsense? It seems to be her opinion or feeling that there should be meaning to such acts for there is context and consequences to consider.

The article goes on in similar fashion (I am not going to quote and comment line by line) but at the end, its just opinion. Some at PEN have different opinion but to call them stupid or spineless or wrong .. I am sorry but I cant agree with that.
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