Standort: / Meldung: "The Curious Case of the Autobiography of Julian Assange"

Riem Higazi

Cultural mash-ups, political slip-ups, and other things that make me go hmmm.

23. 9. 2011 - 16:10

The Curious Case of the Autobiography of Julian Assange

A frank discussion with the publisher of Assange's unauthorized autobiography and a subjective view of the Wikileaks founder's person.



When the whole Wikileaks thing started, I started to figuratively leak too -- at the mouth... as in, salivating. For a journalist, the publication of thousands and thousands and thousands of secret government documents is akin to finding the treasure chest of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I was excited and engaged and ready to dive into those documents, for professional purposes and for private gratification (I love a good government exposé - don't judge). Then I 'got to know' Julian Assange.



Of course, I do not know him AT ALL and I'm not inclined to put too much weight on the accusations made against him by governments seriously humiliated by his chutzpah.

I did, however, start to take a good, long, hard look at him as he presented himself in diverse interviews and as he conducted himself at press conferences. This warrior of truth, this defender of the little guy, this champion of transparency - well, he seemed to be exceedingly smug, secretive, and up his own backside.

He also seems exceedingly smart. His brains should supercede his personality I suppose but in his case, it seems to me, one cancels the other out. Which is a real shame.

When I found out Assange had received a £500 000 advance for an autobiography (to be written with the help of a ghostwriter), I thought it would probably make for a pretty good read. Well, the autobiography has just been published but not with Assange's permission. The reportedly
£930 000 deal he made with the Scotland-based Cannongate publishing house fell through after he delivered his first draft and then decided, naaa, don't wanna spill my secrets afterall.

But he's thus far kept the advance. This is one of the reasons Cannongate decided to publish the first draft despite Assange's backpeddling ways.

I spoke with the director of Cannongate, Nick Davies (not to be mistaken with the OTHER Nick Davies in Assange's life) and he gave me some very interesting insight into what it was like to work with the multi-award winning game-changer and whether or not he feared the wrath of Julian Assange.

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