Dec. 12, 2018 | From 1964 until this year, the American Heritage Dictionary usage panel adjudicated linguistic disputes. Its demise marks the end of a striking episode in American English... more »


Dec. 11, 2018 | Harvey Mansfield has the tragic pleasure of bringing two books to posthumous publication. The first is by his daughter, the second by his wife... more »


Dec. 10, 2018 | Maya Angelou, food writer. A recipe — and its candid, confessional back story — can be as bracing and uncompromising as her verse and prose... more »


Dec. 8, 2018 | The world’s nicest know-it-all. Why does John McPhee know so much about Sophia Loren, the Moscow State Circus, and the golf habits of the Washington elite?... more »


Dec. 7, 2018 | The invention of the telescope sparked a revolution in art. For Milton, who visited Galileo, seeing the cosmos was a visit from the Muse... more »


Dec. 6, 2018 | Solzhenitsyn was viewed as an arch-reactionary rooted in the 19th century. But his revolt against liberal condescension foresaw the 21st... more »


Dec. 5, 2018 | The hedonist and the artist. If excess often accompanies creativity, why do so many artists seek asceticism?... more »


Dec. 4, 2018 | Ghostwriters, noms de plume, plagiarism, forgery — the elements of literary hoaxing have a long history. But the rules have changed... more »


Dec. 3, 2018 | Owen, Sassoon, Gurney, and Graves: The words of the war poets hardened into a kind of orthodoxy. But that wasn't their fault... more »


Dec. 1, 2018 | With his “free-energy principle,” the neuroscientist Karl Friston believes he has discovered the organizing principle of all life. Unfortunately, no one can understand it... more »


Nov. 30, 2018 | Poetry printed on bags of sauerkraut; a “bed” made out of bread; an exhibit called “Chicken Knickers.” What are artists who use food as their medium up to?... more »


Nov. 29, 2018 | Uwe Johnson, the Faulkner of East Germany, wrote a 1,700-page tome describing America's empty grandiosity. Is it the most ambivalent immigration novel ever written?... more »


Nov. 28, 2018 | The path to literary glory is paved with calumny, envy, bias, and malice. Past those obstacles, many others await... more »


Nov. 27, 2018 | Alexander Weygers, the Leonardo of Silicon Valley, subsisted on dandelion soup and gopher stew while designing flying saucers. It was a simpler time... more »


Nov. 26, 2018 | The borderless fluidity of open-office plans was supposed to break down creativity-stifling partitions. Instead, workers have never been more isolated... more »


Nov. 24, 2018 | "I have no better expression than the term 'religious' for this trust in the rational character of reality," said Einstein. But his was a god of philosophy, not religion... more »


Nov. 23, 2018 | What if the theory of mind that underwrites our individual distinctiveness has no basis in what neuroscience tells us about how the brain works? Alex Rosenberg explains... more »


Nov. 22, 2018 | The monochrome myth. Plenty of evidence that ancient sculptures were full of color can't compete with our ardor for whiteness. It's a centuries-long act of collective blindness... more »


Nov. 21, 2018 | Calculating, cutthroat, self-interested, teacher of tyrants: What was Machiavelli up to? Debunking ideas of virtue and vice... more »


Nov. 20, 2018 | Meet the geno-economists, who believe that genes measurably influence social outcomes. Dangerous idea. But impossible to ignore... more »


Nov. 19, 2018 | Douglas Prasher works at a Toyota dealership in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2008, he should have won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. What happened?... more »


Nov. 17, 2018 | “I totally let my freak flag fly now,” says Jonathan Franzen. So he imitates bird chirps, ponders the cat problem, and goofs off... more »


Nov. 16, 2018 | Saul Bellow adjusts to fame. "If I find now that I can’t control the volume, I can always stuff my ears with money”... more »


Nov. 15, 2018 | Giacomo Leopardi felt trapped by his reactionary father and penny-pinching mother. What emerged were his musings on the darkness of the human condition... more »


Nov. 14, 2018 | How a niche publication for evolutionary psychologists tested the limits of iconoclasm on gender, race and intelligence... more »


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