A public chain reading of Salman Rushdie’s texts will take place in Prague on September 9

A public chain reading of Salman Rushdie’s texts will take place in Prague on September 9
A public chain reading of Salman Rushdie’s texts will take place in Prague on September 9

Prague – A public chain reading from the texts of Salman Rushdie will take place in Prague on September 9. The event was initiated by several Czech writers who want to declare their right to free thought and creation. British writer Rushdie, who has been out of favor with Muslim fundamentalists for years because of his work, was attacked and seriously injured by an assailant at a public event in the US in August.

Anyone can participate in the Prague reading from 7:00 p.m. at the Louvre Café Gallery on Národní trída. Participation is not limited by age, profession, or political orientation, the organizers said in a press release. Anyone who wants can prepare their favorite sample for reading in advance, copies of most of Rushdie’s books will be available on site in Czech, and titles in the original English will also be available. The length of the demonstration should not exceed four minutes.

In 1989, the fundamentalist Iranian regime issued a fatwa, calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for writing the novel The Satanic Verses. More than 30 years and many terrorist attacks later, in which Rushdie’s Japanese translator was stabbed, an Italian translator was seriously injured, and a Norwegian publisher was shot, a young terrorist who, according to his own words, read two pages of The Satanic Verses and was not even present at the time of the fatwa in the world, managed to stab and seriously injure Rushdie.

“After years of hiding under police protection, it became clear that the tip of cultural primitivism has not dulled, on the contrary. That the fatwa issued by the long-deceased Ayatollah Khomeini, who according to his son did not read the Satanic Verses at all, can mean the victory of dogma and the crudest aggression over creative freedom and uncensored copyright imagery,” stated the initiators of the reading, Bianca Bellová, Michal Ajvaz and Petr Hruška.

“Salman Rushdie is no martyr, he is a mortal full of faults and virtues like the rest of us. Salman Rushdie may not even be our favorite author. He remains our neighbor. He is just a fellow writer who has published and sold far more books than we have; what we have in common with him is a determination to capture the world in our work as conscientiously as we can, and to remain true to our text,” they said.

The novel The Satanic Verses was published in 1988, its main theme is the difference of cultures, as it is in many other, mostly multi-layered novels by Rushdie. The book was published in Czech in 1994. In 2015, Paseka published a new translation, after an agreement with the translator, the publishing house decided to publish the text under a pseudonym.

Due to the fatwa, Rushdie had to move many times from one top-secret location guarded by the British government to another. He visited the Czech Republic several times during that time.

Britain Literature Rushdie

The article is in Czech

Tags: public chain reading Salman Rushdies texts place Prague September

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