Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Six Authors Withdraw from PEN Gala in Protest of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Honor

A ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cover (photo by Mona Okiddo-Eberhardt/Flickr)

As AP and the Times point out, the present controversy over the gala reflects the broader debate that flamed up in the wake of the original attacks on the magazine’s offices. While much of the literary community expressed support for Charlie Hebdo, others called the mainstream glorification of the publication into question, pointing to its perceived racism. But many of the loudest participants in the ensuing discussion seemed fairly divorced from the French context — many weren’t French speakers, and some hadn’t even heard ofCharlie Hebdo prior to the tragedy, much less read it. My news and Twitter feeds were littered with takes that seemed to materialize out of nowhere: as soon as it was fashionable to have an opinion, opinions seemed to abound. More