Friday, August 14, 2009

Yale University Press Cops Out

Yale University Press is publishing The Cartoons That Shook the World by Jytte Klausen, a book about the controversial Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. The New York Times reports that the Press—after consulting “two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism”—has decided to exclude the cartoons from the book along with all other images of Mohammed. John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, explains that the cartoons can be accurately described in words such that reprinting them would be gratuitous.

Literary Saloon isn’t happy with the decision:
Gratuitous ?!? What, their next monograph on the Mona Lisa will make do with an accurate description of the painting in words ? Give me a break ! (And I have to wonder why an 'accurate description' would not be equally offensive -- beyond the suggestion that those who take offense are so sub-literate that they only react to crude drawings .....) … I generally admire what Yale University Press does, but this is both shocking and terribly disappointing.

2 comments:

The Observer said...

I agree with Lit Saloon. The Yale Press should have greater academic courage.

My response at http://theobservedblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/cartoons-that-shook-university-in-its.html

Jena said...

I sincerely hope that Yale U. Press wasn't influenced by what happened to Ezra Levant after his publication printed them here in Canada as part of the story of the brouhaha. (Levant was dragged before the Human Rights Commission.)

The answer to Literary Saloon's "And I have to wonder why an 'accurate description' would not be equally offensive" is that it's against Muslim law to depict an image of Mohammed.