Aug. 16, 2018 | The years leading up to World War I were a time of radical artistic experimentation — vorticism, cubism, futurism, "anti-art." These new movements turned out to be further casualties of the war... more »


Aug. 15, 2018 | For Roland Barthes, understanding society required understanding how meaning is produced and consumed. It led him to a social psychology of human alienation... more »


Aug. 14, 2018 | V.S. Naipaul was a grumpy reactionary whose sense of humor bordered on cruelty. His irascibility sharpened his vision... more »


Aug. 13, 2018 | The physicist Leo Szilard was integral to the creation of nuclear weapons. His literary legacy, including a cabal of messianic dolphins, is less well known... more »


Aug. 11, 2018 | The tyranny of language. European colonizers tried to stamp out indigenous languages. The legacy of linguistic imperialism lives on... more »


Aug. 10, 2018 | What’s it like to take a psychedelic drug? Answers may tend to echo the “love conquers all” platitudes of Hallmark cards, but they're convincing... more »


Aug. 9, 2018 | Black English is not a degraded form of the language. It's an alternative form. There's nothing wrong with it. So should white writers get in trouble for using it?... more »


Aug. 8, 2018 | Simone Weil was a French pseudo-Catholic mystic and writer of monkish austerity. Her life and death are stark and memorable. But is she relevant?... more »


Aug. 7, 2018 | The neuroscientist Barbara Lipska spent her career mapping the line between sanity and insanity. Then her own mind began to go wrong... more »


Aug. 6, 2018 | "Bodies are unruly sites for politics," says Merve Emre. "Between the body and the political lies a vastly mediated world where belief and behavior do not always overlap"... more »


Aug. 4, 2018 | Holocaust-deniers, anti-vaccinators, climate-change skeptics: The psychology of denialism runs deep and affects us all... more »


Aug. 3, 2018 | The mythic personification of evil has been around for a long time, and our sense of its reality has not vanished with the steady march of rationalism... more »


Aug. 2, 2018 | The big business of the “war of ideas.” In front of 6,000 people, Jordan Peterson riffs on the human brain, God, and genocide, mining mass ennui for money... more »


Aug. 1, 2018 | In defense of ugly art. From da Vinci’s “series of disgusts” to such works as “A Grotesque Old Woman,” viewers tend to gawk at the hideous. They should look deeper... more »


July 31, 2018 | Recondite, scholarly works on human evolution or the history of trade have topped the best-seller list. Is this a boom in “brainy” books?... more »


July 30, 2018 | Have people said that you should write a book? Hate to break it to you, but they're almost certainly wrong... more »


July 28, 2018 | What English has wrought. It's everywhere. Meantime, a language goes extinct every two weeks; up to 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages are at risk of disappearing... more »


July 27, 2018 | Welcome to the David Foster Wallace Conference, where “DFDubs” was, by turns, venerated and exhaustively flayed for being a misogynist... more »


July 26, 2018 | Long before the invention of modern recording technology, scholars captured the music of Ukrainian Jewry. It is the sound of a vanished world ... more »


July 25, 2018 | The intellectual hucksterism of AlienCon. Thousands gather to learn about iridology, divine muscle testing, and ancient astronaut theory — for a price, of course... more »


July 24, 2018 | Wuthering Heights makes too much noise and not enough sense. But what’s significant about the novel is the fact that it exists at all... more »


July 23, 2018 | Aristotle wrote an essay, “On Sleep and Sleeplessness,” wondering how and why we sleep. Maybe the real wonder is why we bother to stay awake... more »


July 21, 2018 | The "intellectual dark web" is many things: crusade against political correctness, revolt against conventional beliefs, check on the illiberal left. One thing it is not: new... more »


July 20, 2018 | Balzac and Paris. Faulkner and Mississippi. Thoreau and Walden Pond. Solzhenitsyn and ... Vermont? How the Russian novelist made rural New England his home... more »


July 19, 2018 | The Swedish Academy has always been consumed by self-importance. Now the bestower of Nobels in literature is consumed by scandals of sex and corruption... more »


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