May 7, 2018 | What makes a great editor? The job is bound in a paradox: Running a magazine is inherently plural, but the individual editor — Eliot, Sartre, Silvers — remains dominant... more »


May 5, 2018 | “In all literary history, there had never been so great a success.” Demand for Rousseau’s Julie was so insatiable, copies were rented out at hourly rates... more »


May 4, 2018 | The Vatican Secret Archives contains 53 linear miles of materials, dating back more than 12 centuries, locked away and largely inaccessible. Until now... more »


May 3, 2018 | Melville, at a loss. After the commercial flop of Moby-Dick, he mortgaged his farm and worked on a manuscript. Whatever happened to it?... more »


May 2, 2018 | “I think mayonnaise has a complex kind of relation to the sublime.” For Fred Moten, even condiments deserve deep thinking... more »


May 1, 2018 | In a Russian archive sits a cigarillo box. Inside is what's believed to be Hitler's teeth. What do they reveal about how he died?... more »


April 30, 2018 | To grasp the future of campus politics, you need to understand how a barely noticed altercation at the University of Nebraska became a proxy war... more »


April 28, 2018 | For years it was an article of faith that American classical music remained stubbornly Eurocentric and lacked a usable past. Then along came Leonard Bernstein... more »


April 27, 2018 | Worried that artificial intelligence will eclipse human intelligence? Rest easy, says Steven Pinker. Such scenarios falsely assume that intelligence implies a will to power... more »


April 26, 2018 | Alan Jacobs noticed how Twitter made him intemperate, rigid, narrow, simplistic. "I pray more and more that God would teach me when it’s time to shut up"... more »


April 25, 2018 | John Gray has been called a misanthrope and a nihilist. But he doesn't believe that social improvements are impossible — only that they're reversible... more »


April 24, 2018 | A more truthful representation of reality. The Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg separated storytelling from the self. Contemporary literature is only now catching up... more »


April 23, 2018 | There's no business like the da Vinci business. It's a happy hunting ground for eccentrics and conspiracy theorists. And for a half-century, Martin Kemp has lived among them... more »


April 21, 2018 | Algorithms and the end of taste. Taste is a moral capacity, an ability to recognize truth and beauty. It was once a human quality. Now it's a digital product... more »


April 20, 2018 | “Hollywood is corrupting the language,” sniffed the Telegraph. But British culture doesn't need saving from the Americans. English is thriving, and all the better for its new imports... more »


April 19, 2018 | Who can afford to write? Magazines haven’t raised their rates since the 1950s. Even New Yorker staff writers typically don’t get health insurance... more »


April 18, 2018 | She was in Paris with the Lost Generation, fled Europe in 1941 with Peggy Guggenheim, got arrested with Joan Baez. Kay Boyle went everywhere and saw everything... more »


April 17, 2018 | Neuroscience, social science, and history give us radically different ways of approaching empathy. But is empathy a moral force? Or a shibboleth?... more »


April 16, 2018 | We are all cyborgs. Our minds extend into the world and develop in response. That's the opinion of the philosopher Andy Clark, who sees this as an excellent thing. Is it?... more »


April 14, 2018 | Benjamin Franklin, “Dear Abby,” Dale Carnegie: America is unique in its hankering for advice on how to date, mourn, work, and raise children... more »


April 13, 2018 | The first dissertation on Jane Austen appeared in 1883. Ever since, the field has given rise to many Austens — moralist, humorist, ironist — and little consensus... more »


April 12, 2018 | Bill Buckley’s conservative irregulars. In its early days, the National Review’s staff included a former spokesman for Leon Trotsky, a nocturnal ex-Communist, and Russell Kirk... more »


April 11, 2018 | “I want his youth.” A deathly spirit, channeled at a séance, had it in for the literary prodigy Raymond Radiguet. He was rich, famous, fêted by the avant-garde, and doomed... more »


April 10, 2018 | Muriel Spark left Edinburgh when she was 18 but held fast to a belief she associated with the place: that contradictory ideas can have equal validity... more »


April 9, 2018 | The fate of handwriting. It was imperiled by the printing press, then the typewriter, the computer, and the phone. But is an elegy premature?... more »


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