Nevis, Jack Reacher, Martha Nussbaum, Jawbones, Anthony Powell

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The World’s Most Secretive Island

Oliver Bullough | Guardian | 12th July 2018

The tiny Caribbean island of Nevis is a “bottom-feeder” among world’s tax havens. It provides complete opacity to anybody who holds assets there, and does not much care who those people are. It has a financial regulator, but nobody is required to provide the regulator with any information. “Thanks to Nevis’s curious constitutional situation – it is neither an independent country nor can it be controlled by any other country – there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about it” (5,750 words)

Looking Up To Reacher

Sam Leith | TLS | 10th July 2018

“If there were some sort of prize for Most Widely Admired Thriller Writer, Lee Child would win it time and again. Why, in a crowded field, does Child’s work so thoroughly outpace the rest? The novels star a former military policeman called Jack Reacher who travels alone around the United States with only the clothes he stands up in, a cashcard and a folding toothbrush. Reacher is a moral agent but he isn’t animated, most of the time, by an active desire to do good. His resting state is one of mild curiosity” (2,400 words)

Martha Nussbaum, Philosopher Queen

Marilyn Cooper | Moment | 10th July 2018

Interview. Interesting throughout. Topics include fear, anger, feminism, philosophy anti-semitism. “Most people are not capable of farsighted moral heroism. Most people don’t change deeply entrenched attitudes when they are older. Don’t forget that many abolitionists and, later, heroes of the civil rights movement opposed equality for women. Many anti-racists have also opposed equal civil rights for gays and lesbians. We are all works in progress, morally speaking” (2,500 words)

I Turned My Jawbone Into Earrings

Merritt K | Broadly | 10th July 2018

Not for the squeamish. “While there is a widespread perception that it’s illegal for doctors to give patients any viscera expunged during medical procedures, there is in fact no such law, nor is there any law against owning your own body parts. Why don’t more doctors offer the option of keeping what’s removed from patients’ bodies? There seems to be an assumption that patients don’t want to be confronted with anything that comes out of them” (1,650 words)

Different Speeds, Same Furies

Perry Anderson | LRB | 11th July 2018

Anthony Powell was a prosaic figure by comparison with Marcel Proust, but Powell’s “Dance To The Music Of Time” is at least the equal of Proust’s “A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu”, and rather better written. Why is Powell so under-rated? “When he is set beside Proust, it is not the connections between them, but the disparities in reception, that are most significant. The literature on Proust is an ocean, at the latest count more than three thousand titles. On Powell, fewer than a dozen” (14,400 words)

Video of the day A Bolt Of Lightning

What to expect:

How Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” shaped popular thinking about science, consciousness, and God (4’09”)

Thought for the day

I am fearless, and therefore powerful
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Podcast Arundhati Roy And Viet Thanh Nguyen | NYPL

Arundhati Roy talks about her life and work with fellow-novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen
(59m 45s)

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