The publishing industry has turned into modern-day book burners
nypost.com – Sunday May 2, 2021
Serious accusations have been made against Blake Bailey, the author of an acclaimed new biography of Philip Roth. Bailey has not been convicted of anything, or even criminally charged, yet the book’s publisher, W.W. Norton, announced it was withdrawing the book from print. That doesn’t make sense and it’s a terrible precedent.
Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist, but does that mean no one should ever be allowed to see “The English Patient,” “Clerks,” “Pulp Fiction” or “The King’s Speech” again? Roman Polanski does not deny he carried out a gruesome sex attack on a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Should we pull everything he’s ever done off the cultural shelf and throw it on the bonfire? We’d lose “Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Tenant.” The French philosopher Michel Foucault, who died in 1984, raped thousands of boys as young as 8 in Tunisia in the 1960s, according to a shocking recent claim by writer Guy Sorman, who knew him then. Should all of Foucault’s books be taken off the shelves, or can we acknowledge that we are not endorsing a man’s character when we allow his books to exist?
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