With Norman Manea, Nina Cassian, Dan Lungu, Simona Popescu, Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Carmen Firan and Bogdan Suceavă.
THU, March 22, 6.30pm RCINY Auditorium 200 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016
- Hosted by acclaimed author Norman Manea, the editor of the anthology, and RCINY Director Corina Şuteu, with an introduction by Edward Hirsch, poet and J.S.Guggenheim Memorial Foundation president.
FRI, March 22, 2 pm The Writer The Censor The Market Reem Kayden Science Center László Z. Bitó ‘60 Auditiorium Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
- The conversation about Romanian writing will move to the Bard College where “The Writer The Censor The Market” will generate a discussion with the guest writers from Romania about writing under the ideological censorship.
Liu Xiaobo No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems Translated by Wenguang Huang Harvard University Press, January 2012. 400 pp.
The 20th century was marked by near-absolute totalitarian political systems in massive industrial societies. It was also a time for dissidents to rise and broadcast their dissent to their societies and the world. These dissidents exposed the true ugliness of tyrannical regimes. They are often our most cogent lens for seeing the endless strategies of spreading fear and administering punishment typical of many regimes then and today — the strategies we see recycled in Syria now, for instance, and will see again.
If there is to be a pantheon of such dissenters, Nobel Peace Laureate and Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo will have a prominent place in it. Liu is convinced that China is on the way to achieving a more democratic state, and that the Internet especially makes it possible for criticism and even political organization to thrive. He recognizes that the worldview informing his criticism of China is a Western one: it consolidates democratic ideals, separation of judicial, legislative, and executive powers, and freedoms of speech, assembly, association, and religion into a sophisticated vision of civil society.
Liu and fellow dissidents were inspired by Charter 77, the 35-year-old Czech manifesto calling upon the then Communist government of Czechoslovakia to respect human rights and bring to an end the normative fears and repression endemic to totalitarian societies. He became the main sponsor of the Chinese Charter 08 whose purpose was not to petition the authorities for change but rather to announce shared ideals to other Chinese people ready to hear them.
In the forefront of calls for democracy in China, Liu has engaged in various forms of dissent. In June 1989, at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests for democracy, Liu and three friends announced a three-day hunger strike to protest the treatment of protestors and to support the democracy movement. Many such actions have landed him in jail for years at a time, and his writings have often been suppressed.
“My dad’s ideas were not so different from Ionesco’s. Carried away by his hallucinations, he plotted fantastical stories from the shadows of his room. The creatures of his mind shut away in the basement of his cerebral functions were clamoring to enter the house of his consciousness. In the end the doors gave way and the strange thoughts brought his inner reason crashing to the ground. Of course, the mind is an unsolved mystery and as for life, it’s a dream. My father chose an international intrigue to help him plunge into a dark labyrinth. He assembled the central theme of Mexican public life from his own private world.”——from "The Way to Juarez" by Rafael Pérez Gay, translated by Catherine Mansfield
“In Mexico, people will pay up to $70,000 dollars for a license to hunt and kill a bighorn sheep. Killing a man is much cheaper—about $2,000, according to the rates charged by hitmen in Ciudad Juárez, the most dangerous city in the world”—by Juan Villoro, translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Read more in the March 2012 issue of Words without Borders.