La question

Thursday 20 November 2008

Fifty years after the publication of “La Question”, journalist Henri Alleg will make his first trip to Scotland to discuss the controversial book.

Henri Alleg will visit the University of St Andrews this Friday to stage a conversation with his English translator and publisher John Calder, discussing what echoes of “the question” we find in today’s world.

In February 1958, Editions de Minuit published “La Question”, Alleg’s shocking account of torture at the hands of the French army in Algeria. The book was immediately seized by the authorities.

However, “La Question” played a decisive role in turning French and international opinion against the Algerian War.

Fifty years on, the 87 year-old will return to the book, to determine what role it plays in today’s world.

Henri Alleg’s visit is organised by Dr Gavin Bowd in the School of Modern Languages and Dr Stephen Tyre in The School of History.  “La Question” is a set text on the courses of both academics, and Alleg will be discussing both the book and the memory of the Algerian War at seminars with students and academics.

Co-organiser Dr Gavin Bowd said, “The recent controversies surrounding the treatment of inmates at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison have again raised the issue of torture and its use by western democracies.  Henri Alleg’s visit, on the fiftieth anniversary of La Question, will enable us to assess what has, and has not, changed.”

John Calder, a living legend of publishing, discovered Samuel Beckett, and published William Burroughs and Alexander Trocchi, as well as no less than 19 Nobel Prize-winners.  He is of the Calder brewing family and is based in London and Paris.  John Calder recently appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

The event will take place in Lower Parliament Hall on Friday 21 November 2008 from 5.15pm to 7pm.  It will be given in French and English.  Members of the public are welcome to attend.



The organisers are available for interview:
Dr Gavin Bowd on Tel: 01334 463643 or E-mail: [email protected]
Dr Stephen Tyre on Tel: 01334 462902, Mobile: 07980304397, or E-mail: [email protected]

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: [email protected]
Ref:  La question 20/11/08
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