HON293C: Literary Scandals and Controversies

An archived version of a 2007 NCSU course blog

Monthly Archives: April 2007


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?

Final Exam time

Since the whole class has expressed a desire to take the final exam early, I thought we might use this blog post to try to agree on a single time before the scheduled date, which is Tuesday May 8, 1-4pm. Please note that I can’t give the exam before May 1st or outside of allowed exam hours (e.g., after 9pm). I’m not done writing the exam yet, so I don’t know how long it will take, but you’re entitled to the full three hours.

Please post a comment to this post and say whether you’re willing to take the exam at each of the following times:

  1. Tuesday, May 1, 1-4pm
  2. Wednesday, May 2, 8-11am
  3. Wednesday, May 2, 1-4pm
  4. Wednesday, May 2, 6-9pm
  5. Thursday, May 3, 8-11am
  6. Thursday, May 3, 6-9pm
  7. Friday, May 4, 8-11am
  8. Friday, May 4, 1-4pm
  9. Friday, May 4, 6-9pm

A simple 1.=yes 2.=no 3.=yes format in your response will be fine.

Course Evaluations

Don’t forget to submit an evaluation for this course at http://classeval.ncsu.edu anytime between April 16 and April 29. For help, e-mail ClassEval@help.ncsu.edu.