Jan. 25, 2020 | Measure the health of the publishing industry by the books, and the diagnosis is grim. Symptoms include stultifying, plodding, overlong work... more »


Jan. 24, 2020 | The rise of the collapsologues. Are they developing a new science, or merely predicting imminent societal breakdown?... more »


Jan. 23, 2020 | Reading silently was once considered outlandish. Reading aloud is one of the oldest and grandest traditions of humankind... more »


Jan. 22, 2020 | Since Margaret Mead’s death, her work has primarily attracted disgruntled critics. Is there anyone left to defend her ideas?... more »


Jan. 21, 2020 | Flush the spaniel was dognapped not once but thrice. It was the valor of a petite poet that saved him — and enshrined him in literary immortality... more »


Jan. 20, 2020 | It was never clear if Roger Scruton, who died this month, failed to realize how his words would be received, didn’t care, or just enjoyed provocation... more »


Jan. 18, 2020 | It’s a golden age of long-form narrative podcasts. They’re entertaining, but often they're inaccurate. Do listeners care?... more »


Jan. 17, 2020 | Academics examine literature suspiciously, expecting it to be "productively unsuccessful." Writers are more hopeful, seeking out literary success... more »


Jan. 16, 2020 | Amid the literary world’s insularity and dire financial situation, critics ask themselves: Can I afford to write a bad review?... more »


Jan. 15, 2020 | Many museums have an ugly past. Near the top of that list: the Royal Museum for Central Africa, which is located in Brussels... more »


Jan. 14, 2020 | Why rank all 5,279 movies of the 2010s? Or watch 31 consecutive hours of superhero movies? Welcome to the age of extreme film criticism... more »


Jan. 13, 2020 | As a signifier of absolute evil, the Holocaust seems incomparable. But does that make it off-limits to historical analogies?... more »


Jan. 11, 2020 | Elizabeth Wurtzel, who died this week, was the literary world's favorite person to hate. She found a way to weaponize the criticism... more »


Jan. 10, 2020 | The papyrus thief. Dirk Obbink is eccentric, even by Oxford standards. But could the eminent papyrologist also be a crook?... more »


Jan. 9, 2020 | A book-to-film boom is transforming how Americans read and tell stories — and not for the better... more »


Jan. 8, 2020 | How did the public image of economists morph from aloof but harmless mathematical mandarins to blameworthy for the ills of the world?... more »


Jan. 7, 2020 | The other Nabokov. Nicolas seemed the embodiment of cosmopolitan charm, the “cultural generalissimo” of the non-Communist West... more »


Jan. 6, 2020 | The two Bertrand Russells. It's common to believe that the philosopher gave way to the political hack. But that account is simplistic... more »


Jan. 4, 2020 | A century from now, what will historians remember about the 2010s? “Populist threats.” “Irony abounded.” “A period of paralysis"... more »


Jan. 3, 2020 | The poet Rupi Kaur has mastered Instagram, selfies, and an affected style. Loathed by critics, is she nonetheless the writer of the decade?... more »


Jan. 2, 2020 | The Brothers Mankiewicz. Both Herman and Joseph set out to conquer Hollywood. Instead, Hollywood conquered Herman. How did Joseph manage to thrive?... more »


Jan. 1, 2020 | To understand a nation, you have to understand its moral imagination. For Gertrude Himmelfarb, who died this week at 97, that was a lifelong preoccupation... more »


Dec. 31, 2019 | After Louis-Ferdinand Céline's collaboration with the Nazis, his reputation was in shreds. He then weaponized his infamy, a tactic that's become all too familiar... more »


Dec. 30, 2019 | The 2010s gave us A Visit From the Goon Squad, The Argonauts, and Ferrante fever. What other books helped define the decade?... more »


Dec. 28, 2019 | A decade ago, the rise of the ebook was all but assured — and yet it hasn’t come to pass. What changed?... more »


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