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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
Re: Amazon.com
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0965  Friday, 5 May 2000.

[1]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Friday, May 05, 2000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

[2]     From:   Simon Malloch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 04 May 2000 23:37:09 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 May 2000 17:40:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

[4]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 May 2000 21:09:56 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Friday, May 05, 2000
Subject: 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

The time has come for me as moderator to intervene in this thread. This
discussion has in my opinion moved so far away from anything in the
purview of this list that I am calling a halt to it. If members are
interested in continuing this conversation, do so off-list.

Hardy

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Malloch <
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Date:           Thursday, 04 May 2000 23:37:09 +0800
Subject: 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

With all this talk about Amazon.com and censorship, I am surprised that
no one has mentioned the Mein Kampf incident.

According to Robert Spector's Amazon.com (HarperCollins, 2000), the
title was in Amazon's top 10 books sold to Germans.  But Amazon stopped
shipping it (nor is it listed, the last time I checked, on
www.amazon.de) after an article in the Washington Post, a complaint from
the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and an investigation from legal authorities
in Germany.

I had first read briefly about this in the English press.  On asking
Amazon for an explanation in December of last year, I got this reply:

'In regards to the question in your other email, we currently do not
ship "Mein Kampf" to Germany or Holland because of legal concerns.  Our
policy is to follow the laws of all the countries in which we operate,
and the sale of this title in Germany and Holland is subject to various
local laws.

Should you want a copy, due to the German laws against Nazi memorabilia,
there are no German-language editions of "Mein Kampf" available.  The
only editions available from us are in English.'

Currently, Mein Kampf is ranked 8,704 on the US site, has an average
customer rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, and has 83 reviews, the first two
of which are positive, 5 star reviews.  Amazon.com has no disclaimers,
unlike the Protocols of Zion catalogue entry.

Apparently BarnesandNoble.com still supply it to Germans, which makes
one wonder about Amazon's legal concerns.

Simon Malloch.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 May 2000 17:40:47 +0100
Subject: 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

Kevin De Ornellas writes

>this casual spreading of hyperbolic rumours by outsiders
>is incredibly unhelpful.  Can we - the Irish - be left alone
>to heal the scars of our traumatised society?

This comment betrays ignorance of email's anonymity and of post-colonial
theory. Given only my name and a virtual email address, I might, for
aught De Ornellas knows, be in real life the head of the school of
English at Queen's University, Belfast. I read "Can we - the Irish - be
left alone" as a coded reference to the phrase Sinn Fein ("ourselves
alone") and have already reported this to the appropriate authorities in
Gower Street.

I'm glad that De Ornellas finds that the content of this list

>could - if taken seriously - undermine confidence in the parties
>(including the larger part of the British State) that are still
>committed to the fragile Irish peace deal.

Undermining such naive confidence is essential war work.

Gabriel Egan

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 May 2000 21:09:56 +0100
Subject: 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0957 Re: Amazon.com

I neglected a glaring contradiction in Kevin De Ornellas's posting. I
beg Hardy's indulgence for pointing this out in a separate message:

>casual spreading of hyperbolic rumours by outsiders is
>incredibly unhelpful.  Can we - the Irish - be left alone
>to heal the scars of our traumatised society?

Let us mask any collective wincing at the de-politicized ethnic purity
of "we - the Irish" (our intellectual visas having been duly
scrutinized) and move in dignified silence past the bad poetry of "heal
the scars of our traumatised society", so as better to appreciate how
the above clashes with

>I do not subscribe to see insensitive splutterings that
>could - if taken seriously - undermine confidence in the parties
>(including the larger part of the British State) that are still
>committed to the fragile Irish peace deal.

Senator George Mitchell, a notable American, brokered the peace deal
which De Ornellas supports, so clearly not all "outsiders" are
unwelcome. I can think also of at least one British politician hoping to
put this deal on his curriculum vitae.

De Ornellas ought not to assume that everyone shares his support for the
current peace deal. There is a significant body of republican opinion
that the situation cannot be resolved until the British Army agrees to
lay down its weapons and negotiate. Not one British bullet nor one ounce
of Army explosives has been handed over and the British government (the
political wing of the British Army) should not expect a long-lasting
peace on this basis.

Gabriel Egan
 

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