Dec. 12, 2019 | Oliver Sacks did psychoanalysis twice weekly, at dawn, for 50 years. “I think we’re finally getting somewhere,” he said, shortly before he died... more »


Dec. 11, 2019 | Isaiah Berlin produced political theory for real people, showing that humanity itself is the main barrier to making the world a better place... more »


Dec. 10, 2019 | Michelangelo was unmarried and lived with a motley bunch of "housemates." Scholars have been left to puzzle over the precise nature of these relationships... more »


Dec. 9, 2019 | Walter Benton was once one of America’s most popular poets. His secret? Sensuous, risqué writing that caused teenagers to mob bookstores... more »


Dec. 7, 2019 | The death of Camus. Did the KGB rig his car to make it crash at high speed?... more »


Dec. 6, 2019 | In the '90s, Stanley Fish infamously bemoaned the prevalence of Volvos on college campuses. Now he's dismayed by the ubiquity of Subarus — and what that means... more »


Dec. 5, 2019 | John Berger’s 1972 TV series, Ways of Seeing, was a grenade lobbed at art history. But, as he learned, it’s not easy to follow an act of demolition... more »


Dec. 4, 2019 | For Derrida, friendship was both an ecstatic and a political act — one that required constant thinking about how we’d eulogize our friends... more »


Dec. 3, 2019 | Nabokov’s dislikes: Thomas Mann is a bad writer on a big scale. Freud merits unrelenting mockery. And never trust a translator... more »


Dec. 2, 2019 | John Simon and the art of the brutal pan. "When he saw something he hated, he eviscerated it and ate its liver, and those meals were not infrequent"... more »


Nov. 30, 2019 | To accuse someone of “virtue signaling” is to commit that offense yourself, just to a different audience. A philosopher unpacks the moral morass... more »


Nov. 29, 2019 | Clive James is dead. The critic, poet, and incomparable wit, who seemed incapable of writing a limp sentence, was 80... more »


Nov. 28, 2019 | Napoleon Chagnon, who died recently at the age of 81, was a rebuke to those scholars who don't regard seeking truth as their primary duty... more »


Nov. 27, 2019 | In 1899 a coal miner died in an accident with a copy of Thucydides in his pocket. The classics used to be integral to working-class British life... more »


Nov. 26, 2019 | George Frideric Handel was, of course, a virtuoso performer and composer. He was good at managing his money, too... more »


Nov. 25, 2019 | A charismatic leader, a creation myth that begins with an epiphany, and legions of rapturous followers: Is positive psychology science or religion?... more »


Nov. 23, 2019 | Nobel Prize-winning scientists are about 17 times more likely than other scientists to create visual art, 12 times more likely to write poetry... more »


Nov. 22, 2019 | Ode to a useless language. Literary Latin is an aesthetic delight masking a dark history... more »


Nov. 21, 2019 | Instead of big, sprawling novels like White Teeth, we now have Knausgaard and Ferrante, who promise so little... more »


Nov. 20, 2019 | “She’s turning 80 and she’s just put out the biggest book in the world.” The making of Margaret Atwood... more »


Nov. 19, 2019 | Clifton Fadiman, monarch of the middlebrows, was the target of endless snobby, self-regarding attacks. He deserved better... more »


Nov. 18, 2019 | "Creepy" is a popular pejorative. But what exactly do we mean when we describe people, usually men, as creepy?... more »


Nov. 16, 2019 | John M. Ford was a celebrated science-fiction writer and a dazzling storyteller. When he died, his works disappeared. How did this happen?... more »


Nov. 15, 2019 | “Do we have to read every fucking word the guy writes?” Philip Roth asked about John Updike. The two had spats but saw beyond the rivalry... more »


Nov. 14, 2019 | Kate Manne’s moral quandary: to respond to all suffering, at the expense of herself? Or to prioritize her philosophical work and live with the guilt?... more »


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