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DeLillo Speaks Again

Longtime Ionarts readers may remember my translation of an interview that Don DeLillo gave to L'Express on September 11, 2003. Now Céline Curiol, in an article (Rushdie mobilise l'Amérique des lettres contre Bush, August 9) for Libération, has covered the symposium hosted by Salman Rushdie on August 4 at PEN, called State of Emergency. The article has already been translated into English by Matthew Murchison. Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Russell Banks, and several others read literary excerpts that resonate with our time. I think that Ariel Dorfman has the best quoted line: "There has rarely been a moment when public discourse and truth were so far apart. When people are afraid, they do not question a lie." Yes. (See also Salman Rushdie's letter, from May 3, 2004, on behalf of PEN, to President Bush against the Patriot Act.)

The only American news reports of the event were Nick Catucci, Heroic Restraint, August 5, for The Village Voice; and Salman Rushdie on Terrorism, Intellectual Freedom, and the Patriot Act, August 10, from Democracy Now!. In the literary blog scene, Maud Newton was on top of the story.

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