June 19, 2018 | People hang a lot of labels on Ed Ruscha: minimalist, surrealist, neo-Dadaist, and, most of all, cool. That last one is a problem... more »


June 18, 2018 | The Stanford prison experiment enjoys canonical status, evidence of our innate cruelty and inhumanity. Yet the study almost certainly has no scientific validity. Why does it endure?... more »


June 16, 2018 | The American Time Use Survey holds a mirror up to society. What does it reveal? The shift to a post-literate culture is well underway... more »


June 15, 2018 | The birth of Fridolatry. Before the tote bags, keychains, and portrayal by Salma Hayek came a 1934 Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot... more »


June 14, 2018 | When a monk hangs out with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, what results is the work of Sylvester Houédard, Benedictine beatnik... more »


June 13, 2018 | John Kidd, once the world’s leading Ulysses scholar, is said to have died in sordid conditions, communing only with pigeons. The truth is stranger... more »


June 12, 2018 | The unrealized promise of Harold Brodkey. As one editor put it, his “talent was large, but his ego was colossal, and it did him in”... more »


June 11, 2018 | Classicism is undergoing one of its periodic revivals. A distinctive feature of this revival is the weirdness of its architectural precedents... more »


June 9, 2018 | Mary Beard has delved deep into the “logic" of misogyny. Both apparent chivalry and mere Twitter trolling have darker roots, she notes... more »


June 8, 2018 | Twenty years after Isaiah Berlin’s death, a revival of his work is underway. But is the interest due to his ideas, or to nostalgia for a vanishing intellectual world?... more »


June 7, 2018 | Black-light yoga, a sensory-deprivation chamber, magical gold medallions, psychedelic drugs, an overly friendly robot, and Noam Chomsky. Is this the world’s strangest academic conference?... more »


June 5, 2018 | Yukio Mishima’s Sun and Steel is a minor work, but a major one in the bizarro universe of white-supremacist arts and letters... more »


June 4, 2018 | Georges Borchardt spent his childhood fleeing Nazis. For the next seven decades, he toiled in the book business. "Did I know I was an agent? Of course not. I really didn’t know what that was”... more »


June 2, 2018 | At the turn of the 20th century, the dream of motion transfixed Monet. He rushed from canvas to canvas as if from scene to scene, in effect a motion picture... more »


June 1, 2018 | Aristotle’s ethics of virtue offers a flexible philosophy for the 21st century. Yet few people read him today. The problem: his academese... more »


May 31, 2018 | It was “dreadful,” a “Potemkin city,” a “social hell.” Why did the great artists of fin de siècle Vienna hate their own city so much?... more »


May 30, 2018 | Jürgen Habermas, 88, is still working and increasingly worried. The infrastructure that has maintained intellectual life is no longer intact... more »


May 29, 2018 | Stig Abell, a sports-loving, Guns N' Roses-listening veteran of the British tabloids, attends no book parties and has no literary relationships. How did he become editor of the TLS?... more »


May 28, 2018 | Tom Wolfe was the great statustician, exposing the pretensions, hypocrisies, fraudulence, and anxieties of others. He was ruthless to sad social climbers and intellectuals alike... more »


May 26, 2018 | When great thinkers feared beans. Pythagoras thought fava beans contained the souls of the dead — an idea that had surprising currency in the ancient world... more »


May 25, 2018 | Aesthetically empty and running on a broken business model, art fairs are bad for art. Jerry Saltz on the menacing art-fair industrial complex ... more »


May 24, 2018 | Philip Roth, master chronicler of the American berserk, is dead. He was 85... Zadie Smith... Paul Berman... Dwight Garner... Stephen Metcalf... Nathan Englander... Talia Lavin... James Wood... Bernard Henri-Levy... Sam Lipsyte... Roger Cohen... Ron Charles... Marc Weitzmann... Nicole Krauss... Wash Post...Guardian... The Forward... The New Yorker... David Marcus... Elizabeth Pochoda... Marco Roth... more »


May 23, 2018 | A star of book publishing, Peter Mayer was known for his charm, his temper, his savvy, and his smoking. An appreciation... more »


May 22, 2018 | “I’m the kind of writer that doesn’t know jack shit about anything,” says Stephen King. That might not put you off The Stand, but what about his poetry?... more »


May 21, 2018 | No one questions Oscar Hammerstein’s historical significance. But what explains the gap between his popularity and the middling esteem in which he is held by critics?... more »


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