HON293C: Literary Scandals and Controversies

An archived version of a 2007 NCSU course blog

Final Exam post

Link to my final exam.

Final Exam

This is a post, my final exam essay is the comment to it. This is just in case the email didn’t go through.


Have the laws about censorship, about Rushdie’s novel in particular, changed since the Ayatollah’s death? Has the ban on the book been lifted? Is the new ruler just as strict as the previous one about censorship?

Wiggins now

On page 203, Pipes talks about how Marianne Wiggins finally left Rushdie, and then lost track of him due to the extreme security measures taken to keep him hidden. Did coming out of hiding prove to be dangerous for Wiggins? What is she doing now, where has she settled since reemerging?


Have there been any other instances in history where publishing houses actually had to hire secuirity, etc because of something they printed?

Uproar over Khomeini fatwas?

Were there any other mass responses in opposition to Khomeini and his supporters similar to those of Cat Stevens (pages 234-235)?

Rushdie’s Responsibility

It is stated on page 237 that twenty-two people lost their lives as a result of the Rushdie Controversy. Was Rushdie held accountable for this in any way?

Rushdie’s Book

Has there been any other books that have had a large economic effect on countries like Rushdie’s book had upon Turkey?

Terrorism and Hostages

Pages 184-187 describe terrorist events by Iranians in several different countries. I am curious to find out the situation between Shahpour Bakhtiar, the prime minister of Iran, and Khomeini that lead a French policeman and French neighbor to die. Why does Bakhtiar have to live under such heavy guard? Also, the Iranian government held a British businessman, Roger Cooper, in jail and sentences him for spying (pg 188). Is there any more information on this?

“The Rushdie File”

On page 196, Pipes mentions that the publishing house got cold feet and didn’t publish “The Rushdie Dossier.” However, it was later published by a different press as “The Rushdie File” and nearly sold out. What was the purpose/motivation behind the book and how did people respond to it?