walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

a little excitement about a book, redux

The beat goes on for the idiot who lacks the sense of a rock:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/20/AR2008082003956.html

Highlights: After the professor whose book I own and who I deeply respect pointed out, uh, dude, this is going to get some folks really ratcheted up and btw it is _very_ badly researched and get my name the heck off this turd, Random House didn't just cancel the book. Nope. They apparently called a bunch of other people Who Ought to Know Better and WHO DID and who, while not named, apparently, with one exception, agreed with the professor. THEN Random House pulled publication. In other words, stop blaming the professor.

So here's my confusion. I read _The Da Vinci Code_. It is stupid. It is badly researched. A lot of people find it offensive. Whatever. But it's written by a guy and within a context where everyone involved had a pretty good idea how people were going to react. _This_ book is written in a context where most of the people involved in deciding to publish it don't know jack about the people it's about (heck, the author's pretty iffy on historical details, and her grasp of cultural nuance is non-existent). Which is problematic. I realize that people differ on questions like who can use the n-word. But there's sort of an irresistible analogy here. I'm pretty sure a non-Muslim shouldn't be writing this book at this time.

To return to the contents of the article: some wack job in Serbia (Ethnic cleansing ring a bell? We're still tracking down the perps.) decided it'd be a good idea to publish a Serbian translation of this puppy. Just for reference purposes, the author viewed this as "braver" than the American publisher. Cue heavy sarcasm. It's _brave_ when you have an axe to grind and someone hands you a whetstone.

Unsurprisingly, some people got in touch with the publisher and said, if you do, we're going to protest. (_They_ remember how things turned out the last time someone let a bunch of Christians in Serbia start producing huge amounts of false information in the press and other media.) The publisher declined to come to the rumble (remember: we're still going after the perps from over 10 years ago) and pulled the copies and declined to do another press run. Rabid anti-muslims in countries formerly members of the Soviet Union are watching this go down. Is it worth it to them to take this on? Guess we're going to find out. (cf Dueling accusations of ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia)

I really like the Smart Bitches. But they are not being particularly smart about this topic. Yes, I know you want to read the book. Get over it. You can tell from the published prologue and bibliography that this is a Bad Book on a lot of levels. There are better ways to spend our time than lobbying for this sucker to see the light of day. And honestly, as dumb as the author is, her daughter still deserves to make it to 15 and hopefully, some day, 85 or thereabouts. Even if she's got as little sense as her mother.
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