Sept. 26, 2017 | The Italian artist Carol Rama saw the psychiatric ward as a place of vibrancy and liberty. “Madness is close to everybody,” she said... more »


Sept. 25, 2017 | In the beginning was the pissing boy. Since then, painters and sculptors have depicted the act of urination. "A river of piss runs through art history"... more »


Sept. 23, 2017 | Secrets of the stacks. The New York Public Library’s archives contain dentures, roller skates, and, as David Grann discovered, evidence of a systematic campaign of murder... more »


Sept. 22, 2017 | “The era of world literature is at hand,” proclaimed Goethe in 1827. His colleagues disagreed, and gave him a turban for his birthday. Thankfully, the debate has evolved... more »


Sept. 21, 2017 | Hemingway in LA. He was there to raise money but “came like a whirlwind,” wrote Fitzgerald, and ended up throwing a wineglass into Dorothy Parker’s fireplace... more »


Sept. 20, 2017 | Do hallucinogenic fungi have a significant place in art history? If the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grünewald are any guide, yes indeed... more »


Sept. 19, 2017 | Amis at 70. Once young and belligerent, now a domesticated elder statesman hoping that his daughter won't opt for college in California... more »


Sept. 18, 2017 | The International Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science doesn't sound romantic. But it's where Hilary Putnam met his future wife, Ruth Anna. Pragmatism would never be the same... more »


Sept. 16, 2017 | “It is difficult to live in Brooklyn without becoming a deep thinker,” wrote Clifton Fadiman, littérateur to the masses. Was he more than a middlebrow salesman?... more »


Sept. 15, 2017 | NASA’s leaders had an early revelation: Discovery means little if the public can't see it. The agency has commissioned outer-space art ever since... more »


Sept. 14, 2017 | Frederick Wiseman's documentaries — which lack voice-over narration, soundtrack, titles, and interviews — add up to a comprehensive exploration of the American condition... more »


Sept. 13, 2017 | Freud has been debunked, yet the apparatus that defends him persists. Why do his ideas endure? Because we want to believe them... more »


Sept. 12, 2017 | Ira Lightman ferrets out poets who pilfer lines, and then he shames them. Does that make him a hero or a bully?... more »


Sept. 11, 2017 | “What the hell have I taken on?” That was Ian Buruma's second reaction to being named editor of the NYRB. His first reaction: "a sense of euphoria"... more »


Sept. 9, 2017 | Silicon Valley's latest "body hack": microdosing LSD. It's supposed to make you more creative. The real allure: It makes you more productive... more »


Sept. 8, 2017 | Has the Voynich manuscript been deciphered at last? According to a new theory, it’s a health manual for well-to-do women. Experts are dubious.... more »


Sept. 7, 2017 | John Ashbery, for whom writing was an immersive experience, like taking a bath in words, is dead at 90... Christian Lorentzen... Evan Kindley... Larissa MacFarquhar... Rae Armantrout... Ben Lerner... Tania Ketenjian... Paul Muldoon... David Orr... Katy Waldman... Alex Ross... Eileen Myles... Kimberly Quiogue Andrews... Luc Sante... The Guardian... The TLS... AP... Poetry Foundation...... more »


Sept. 6, 2017 | Salman Rushdie is either disinclined or unable to disguise his status-consciousness. Hard to say if that’s due to a surfeit of self-awareness or its opposite... more »


Sept. 5, 2017 | Descartes found imagination “more of a hindrance than a help”; Hume considered it “faint and languid.” Why do philosophers fear imagination?... more »


Sept. 4, 2017 | Dr. Faustus, Dr. Frankenstein, Los Alamos — there are reasons to fear the power of labs. Is David Reich's ancient genetics lab at Harvard a threat to humanity?... more »


Sept. 2, 2017 | In the early ‘80s, E.B. White was an octogenarian widower. He'd want the company of a fan, right? "There’s one of me, at most, and there are ten thousand of you. Please don’t come"... more »


Sept. 1, 2017 | Nabokov insisted on written interviews. Why? “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child”... more »


Aug. 31, 2017 | The avant-gardists Arthur Cravan and Mina Loy were happily married — until he disappeared. Did he fake his death to become a counterfeiter of Oscar Wilde manuscripts?... more »


Aug. 30, 2017 | Napoleon was allergic to leather, Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed 200 pounds, and other unusual facts from Christie's... more »


Aug. 29, 2017 | Derrida dressed like a rakish ski instructor; Foucault was fond of leather jackets. Caring about clothes isn’t mere vanity — it can signal intellectual commitment... more »


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