About a week ago, six writers who are members of PEN, an organization that promotes and supports freedom of literary expression, refused to attend and be “table hosts” at a PEN banquet. This was a protest against PEN’s giving a “freedom of expression award” to Charlie Hebdo after the brutal murders of its outspoken writers and artists. Now, according to the New York Times, the Shameful Six have been joined by 139 other writers who are equally misguided.
The Interceptgives the text of the letter and a list of the 145 signers. Here’s an excerpt from the letter. I’ve highlighted the inevitable “however,” which alway tells us in such matters that the writers have paid lip service to the principle but then will argue that in this case the principle doesn’t really apply:
It is clear and inarguable that the murder of a dozen people in the Charlie Hebdo offices is sickening…
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