FiveBooks Newsletter 17
Dear FiveBooks Readers,
A great week of interviews for you, including Booker judge Rosie Blau on new
fiction, Mary Warnock on Godless morality (this sparked a good debate in the
comments) and Sophie Dahl on cooking.
Don't forget to enter the FiveBooks quiz if you're in a clamour to get
your hands on a $30 Amazon voucher.
_Mary Warnock on Godless Morality_
Monday, October 11
Baroness Warnock says morality is born of the basic human need to stick
together and religion is just the story that makes the message accessible.
It is highly derogatory of all the really good, morally thoughtful people,
she says, who are not religious, to suppose that they can’t have morality
_David Olusoga on Race and Slavery_
Tuesday, October 12th
The UN Commission on Human Rights meets this week and David Olusoga chooses
five books on race and slavery including a book of American photography.
‘There are repeated pictures of lynchings – those “strange fruit” images of
black men hanging from trees. They are truly shocking partly because you
keep thinking, as you get into the 1930s, that surely we’re past that, yet
you turn a page and there is another photo of a lynching.’
_Molly Greene on Chaos in the 17th-Century Mediterranean_
Wednesday, October 13th
The Princeton professor says the 17th-century Mediterranean is fascinating
because it was a time when nobody was in charge. There were Catholic pirates
hated by the Venetians and Ottomans alike, there were Uskoks and Ottoman
commanders right across the border in the Balkans, a lot of ransoming going
on and Venetians, Ottomans and Hapsburgs all saying: ‘This is terrible!’
_Rosie Blau on the Best Debut Novels of 2010_
Thursday, October 14th
_Financial Times_ literary editor and 2010 Man Booker Prize judge Rosie Blau
chooses the best five debut novels of the year and says all novels are
really about the same thing – an attempt to create a narrative of the self,
whether you are a single dad, the great-great-niece of an Arctic explorer, a
player in the finance markets or an institutionalised disabled girl.
_Scott Soames on the Philosophy of Language_
Friday, October 15th
Professor Scott Soames says the metaphysical distinction between what is and
couldn’t have been otherwise vs what is but could have been otherwise was
thought to coincide with the epistemological distinction between what we can
know without empirical confirmation vs what we can know only though
empirical confirmation. But then came Saul Kripke...
_Sophie Dahl on Cooking_
Saturday, October 16th and Sunday, October 17th
The model, author and cook grew up in a family of people who, she says, were
passionate about food, and greedy. She talks about honey pancakes, mushy
peas, drop scones, choux pastry, baked onions and Winnie-the-Pooh and says
that now she’s pregnant she craves anything white and deeply refined. ‘I
like cosy comfort food like fish pies and mushy peas but also more delicate
food like a whisper-thin pastry.’
That's your lot. Don't miss Kwame Anthony Appiah on Honour this week, and
Richard Baum on Obstacles to Political Reform in China.
Have a wonderful week.
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