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Dalkey archive NatioNal literature SerieS
ariadne in the grotesque labyrinth salvador espriu translated by rowan ricardo phillips paperback, $13.95 cloth, $19.95
the siege in the room miquel bauçà
translated by martha tennent paperback, $14.95 cloth, $22.95
the dolls’room llorenç villalonga translated by deborah bonner paperback, $14.95
walaschek’s dream giovanni orelli translated by jamie richards paperback, $13.95 cloth, $21.95
isle of the dead gerhard meier translated by burton pike cloth, $17.95
with the animals noëlle revaz translated by w. donald wilson paperback, $14.95 cloth, $22.95
life on sandpaper yoram kaniuk translated by anthony berris paperback, $15.95
motti asaf schurr translated by todd hasak-lowy paperback, $13.95
heatwave and crazy birds gabriela avigur-rotem translated by dalya bilu paperback, $15.95
the faster i walk,the smaller i am kjersti a. skomsvold
NeW aND ForthcoMiNG
translated by kerri a. pierce cloth, $17.95
for more information and other titles in each series visit www.dalkeyarchive.com and click on national literature series. the practice of freedom
In 1991, Index published, for the first time in English, a remarkable series of documents from the Lubianka, the KGB headquarters. This includes the devastating record of the interrogation of the celebrated Russian-Jewish writer Isaac Babel, murdered by Stalin’s regime in 1940. In a forced confession in 1939, Babel is reported as saying: ‘I wrote contrary to the interest of the masses and the Party, I fell into slanderous generalisations concerning the situation in the country and attacked the current leadership.’ Compare this with the imprisonment of the Chinese dissident Chen Wei last December, for ‘inciting subversion of state power’. There is no greater crime than challenging, or being perceived to challenge, the one-party state.
Chen Wei was a signatory of Charter 08, a manifesto for reform co-written by Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. The Charter is modelled on the famous Czech document Charter 77 and Václav Havel, one of its architects and a regular contributor to Index in the 70s and 80s, remains an inspiration for Chinese dissidents. You can read one of Chen Wei’s powerful essays which led to his trial in this issue on pp. 107–113, and you can find Václav Havel’s essays and the interrogation of Isaac Babel in our archive. In celebration of Index’s anniversary, our publisher SAGE is generously making the archive of the magazine freely available online from 26 March until the end of the year. You can access the archive at http://www.indexoncensorship.org/magazine-archive. It is a literary treasure trove and also an historic document of the extremes of human behaviour – from man at his most inhumane to his most courageous.
What’s clear is that censorship never dies, it simply changes its form. Technology can provide a route around it, but will never put the censors out of action. It is still up to the dissidents, the protesters, the whistleblowers, the artists and the writers to get the word out through their sheer determination. As Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the most remarkable freedom fighters of our time, writes in this issue: ‘When we write about our right to freedom of expression we begin to practice it. There can be no theoretical advocacy of these freedoms, there can only be practical, practising advocacy.’
Take advantage of our special anniversary discount offer of 40 per cent on an annual subscription by calling SAGE Customer Services on +44 (0) 207 324 8701, quoting 40YIOCM1. Index on Censorship has now grown into an organisation that fights for freedom of expression around the world. You can support our projects and follow the latest censorship stories around the world at www.indexoncensorship.org
©Jo Glanville 41(1): 3/5 DOI: 10.1177/0306422012440062 www.indexoncensorship.org