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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un peu de polémique ne saurait nuire, 29 janvier 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Relié)
I am rather disappointed by this book. It is an important testimony on extreme terrorism that condemns someone to death for what that someone thinks or writes, or whatever they may express as for ideas or ideologies that contradict those of the terrorists. The book targets Iran and its criminal fundamentalism that called on every single Muslim in the world to kill, for hefty sums of money, a writer who was declared by some religious higher up clerics to be a blasphemous unbeliever. To have the testimony of the victim of this long unbearable and unacceptable situation is absolutely outstanding.

And yet I am disappointed by the book. It is the testimony of a man who had to be protected by the English government against this menace, who was protected by the English police, and yet became a victim of strict limitations of his freedom of movement and freedom of expression under the authority and by decision of one or two police officers. That protection resembled a loss of freedom not to say secret-underground-home-imprisonment too much. To have that testimony is essential to understand and eventually sympathize or support the author who was the victim of such an unbearable situation.

And yet I am disappointed by the book. There are two essential reasons why I am disappointed.

The first one is that it is by far too long, with by far too many details that are piling up and not building, constructing an argumentation, or simply a structured testimony, in a way it seems to be a pile of sand more than a protective, defensive or vindicating wall. Most of the facts are isolated, without any perspective, mixing personal elements about the author’s wives and his son along with political or police elements without showing any real architecture. At this level the book does not read easily because we get lost from one dozen of pages to the next dozen of pages, at times even from one page to the next, among details that add nothing to the sad tale.

The second reason is that he explains rather well how he got trapped in getting into defensive religious declarations that were going against his main argument about the necessary freedom of artistic expression for an author. It was a mistake since an author is not his characters and he does not have to mix his own religious or non-religious beliefs and those of his characters. That kind of mistake is too often done by many critics, and even many authors, going as far as the caricatural sarcasm from Gustave Flaubert who once declared “Madame Bovary c’est moi.” (“Mrs. Bovary, that’s me,” or “I obviously am Mrs. Bovary”) It was all the more sarcastic since it was plagiarizing Louis XIV’s famous declaration “L’état c’est moi” (“I obviously am the state,” “The state that’s me,” with a strong provincial accent and emphasis on the French “moi” that could mean “me myself and I”). It is understandable that under stress and duress someone, an author or anyone else can make such a mistake. Unluckily there are too many details that lead to the impression that the author was not only under duress but was actually not clear in his mind about his being his character or not, and when we know his character is the Prophet of the Quran, there is a real problem that has nothing to do with religion but has to do with a loss of touch.

Then the mistake has to be repaired and once again too many details lose the reader into a loose sandy labyrinth of non-obvious procedures that once again pile up more than follow a logical line or plan. Maybe the author did not have a logical line, though it is not what he says then, but it definitely is what we feel and we get lost again. That’s a shame because there are quite a lot of moments when there is a real epiphany and revelation, like the accidental meeting with Margaret Thatcher, when she no longer was Prime Minister. This event is made trivial by the remark about her being a touchy-feely person, meaning that she established a physical contact with him, her hand on his fore-arm and then on his shoulder, which surprises him as a matter of fact, though it could be seen as rather banal in Great Britain.

If the book had been cut by half it would have been a lot more effective and a lot more dynamic. The flow of this river lacks momentum and power on a subject that should inspire the greatest number of people into defending man’s free soul, not only the free expression of writers. Here too I feel slightly betrayed. I do not want to provide the freedom of expression only to writers recognized (by whom?) as such. The freedom of expression is for everyone and no one can or should be freer than anyone else. At the same time, and the book completely neglects this side of things, everyone has the absolute right to be respected in their faith, beliefs, ideas, thinking whether other people identify or agree with these faith, beliefs, ideas, thinking or not. Salman Rushdie never set a line between his writing that does not menace anyone and for example the anti-Semite writing of let’s say Céline that has to be clearly wrapped up in some precautionary introduction to establish a distance between the work of fiction and Céline’s ideas that were unluckily going that way and have to be rejected. Even worse: the free expression of some openly racist person or group like the KKK in the US has to be rejected because of their ideology. Anyone who is insulted in his race or beliefs must have the right to say so, to sue if they want to and to be heard as victims by the courts that would deal with the complaint. Some publications publish such anti-Muslim ideas under the cover of freedom of expression of artists with the only aim of making money by selling great numbers of copies that are not clean enough to be respected. There used to be a time when public toilets were built against churches in France. I know one in Bordeaux, except if it was pulled down, and another in Saint Anthème and that one was still standing when I last visited the village.

The book then has a rather dull taste because it does not fulfill its promises, and I thought it was the freedom of expression for everyone.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A lire par tous, 11 décembre 2012
Par 
Claude Mawas (Marseille, France) - Voir tous mes commentaires
(VRAI NOM)   
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton (Format Kindle)
Tout le monde devrait lire ce bouquin! et la vie subie par un écrivain après une fatwa des fous d'Islam durant plus de 10 ans!
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Quel humour !, 20 mars 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton (Format Kindle)
Rushdie me faire rire, me raconte des histoire, m'entraîne dans la grande histoire (c'est un érudit).
j'aime sa vision politique et non-conformiste du monde. Et en même temps, il est tellement british !
A lire absolument pour comprendre l'état de notre monde.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Joseph Anton est arrivé dans les délais, 8 septembre 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Relié)
Etat tout à fait correct et en plus ( et non annoncé) 1° édition signée de la main de Rushdie. Quel bonheur d'avoir ce plaisir inattendu
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Parfait, 24 mai 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Relié)
Cela se lit comme un "thriller", avec en prime l'extraordinaire talent de conteur de Salman Rushdie. Longue vie à lui!
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Très bon livre pour les esprits qui mettent en question, 14 janvier 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Relié)
Rushdie est un des grand penseurs de la littérature contemporaine et sait raconter une histoire, dans ce cas la sienne sur
une période très particulière de sa vie.
J'ai choisi ce livre car je suis un fan inconditionnel de cet écrivain et j'ai dans ma bibliothèque pratiquement tous ses
livres.
A qui le recommander? A toute personne d'un esprit questionnant et qui juge que aucun dogme, aucune idéologie,
aucune idée, aucune religion ne peuvent s'extraire d'un questionnement rationnel légitime, et qui se méfit du "politiquement
correct".
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un cadeau, 9 janvier 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Relié)
Qui a fait un très grand plaisir à un prof d'anglais à la retraite. Et un petit acte militant pour soutenir la liberté d'expression.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 An unexpected Rushdie, 29 décembre 2012
Par 
DIDIER COSTE "Sherwood Hanuman" (ESCOURCE, null France) - Voir tous mes commentaires
(VRAI NOM)   
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Joseph Anton (Broché)
Autobiography of the double, by the same he cannot be. But these memories of the other are more poignant than any mirror effect. It's History in the middle, and the subject thrown at the centre of History, or rather converted into a symptom of History's faultline. Just imagine what would happen if Alice B. Toklas had been sentenced to death by a deadly dying ayatollah.
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Joseph Anton
Joseph Anton de Salman Rushdie
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