Monday, June 13, 2011

The Death of the Author

In the postmodern sense, not literally. More like Barthes and Foucault than Theo Van Gogh or even Hemingway.

A prominent female blogger in Syria goes missing:

Abdallah's cousin wrote on the blog that Amina was taken Monday by three men in their 20s "assumed to be members of one of the security services or the Baath Party militia."

"One of the men then put his hand over Amina's mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad," Rania Ismail wrote.

Abdallah describes her blog as "An out Syrian lesbian's thoughts on life, the universe and so on..." -- this, in a country where homosexuality is not just taboo, but illegal.

But, maybe not after all. The first apology and the second apology:
I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone -- I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.

I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.

This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism.

However, I have been deeply touched by the reactions of readers.
If there were ever a time for lit crit, now would be that time over the issues of sexuality, gender, voice, identity, and appropriation.

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