The global effort to uncover Malaysia’s missing billions began with Xavier Justo. He leaked 90GB of data, including 227,000 emails, from his former employer PetroSaudi, an oil services company that had signed the first major deal with 1MDB. (PetroSaudi denies any wrongdoing.)Without these files, there would have been no reckoning.
Whenever you see a story within a story, or a play within a play, or a painting within a novel, I propose that what you’re seeing is a mirror held up to a mirror, a twist and perversion of the old metaphor, and it’s in service of so much more than something like “plot.” It disorients a reader in her place in relation to the work of art. And I just love that.
When fictions are embedded in fictions, when we see a character influenced by a work of art to behave in a certain way, the notion of “self” or “character” is presented to us as enactment. Personhood is not a noun, but a verb. It is a function that is both fluid and continually formed and re-formed in response to bearing witness to the world and, especially, to art.
In the mid-17th century Anglican bishop John Wilkins set out on a not-so-small quest: to refine human communication with a language that would classify every concept, thing, and idea within the universe into just 40 categories.
Wilkins' goal was to propose a system that would eliminate the confusion—the sense of lawlessness—that characterized human language, which was rife with synonyms, idioms, and other elements that didn't strike at the heart of what the speaker really meant to say.
If you read a book from your shelves and dislike it, then this is a good day for you: now you can ditch it. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up strenuously disliking a book by an until-now untried author whose work you have in multiplicity. I’m not naming names, but fairly recently I read a fat, exalted novel and had the pleasure of getting rid of it and its shelf neighbors too.