Dec. 6, 2017 | In Vermeer's time, an artist had to be a chemist — weighing, grounding, burning, sifting, heating, cooling, filtering, all before applying a drop of paint... more »

Dec. 5, 2017 | In 1767, Carl Linnaeus was suffering from information overload. His solution: the index card, a turning point in the relationship between power and technology... more »

Dec. 4, 2017 | “I am not a survivor,” says John Lukacs, 94. "I am a crumbling remnant” of the end of the 500-year-long Age of Books.... more »

Dec. 2, 2017 | Giraffomania. The first giraffe in France arrived in 1826 and caused a sensation. Everything, even art, was “la mode à la girafe”... more »

Dec. 1, 2017 | On bias against women in art. Louise Bourgeois knew just about everyone in the art world by the 1940s yet didn’t become famous until the 1980s... more »

Nov. 30, 2017 | Lorca thought being from Granada helped him understand Gypsies, blacks, and Jews. But adopting poetic forms from stigmatized groups is a complicated business... more »

Nov. 29, 2017 | Walcott, Brodsky, Heaney. Three great poets, at the height of their powers, converged on Boston. The result: Rabelaisian gusto... more »

Nov. 28, 2017 | The world’s most pessimistic philosopher. David Benatar thinks life is so bad, people shouldn’t have children. A trip inside the strange world of anti-natalist thinking... more »

Nov. 27, 2017 | "Liberalism is failing not because it fell short but because it was true to itself," says Patrick Deneen. "Liberalism is failing because liberalism succeeded"... more »

Nov. 25, 2017 | The greatest expression of Romanticism in the 20th century can be found in the works of Tolkien. But after Tolkien, now what? Bradley J. Birzer has some thoughts... more »

Nov. 24, 2017 | When language divides. Even a lingua franca like English has esoteric registers, which repel outsiders and reinforce the insularity of its speakers... more »

Nov. 23, 2017 | The complex history of flash photography: Welcomed at first as a quasi-divine way of showing what had previously been hidden, now it can seem like an unwelcome intrusion... more »

Nov. 22, 2017 | Economics is not inherently unreliable; it just tends to be that way. The fault belongs to economists themselves, but also to those who ignore them... more »

Nov. 21, 2017 | Viewing other people as objects enables our very worst conduct — that notion has long been a reassuring one. The truth may be harder to accept... more »

Nov. 20, 2017 | Stephen F. Cohen, who says he's skeptical about everything except horses and bourbon, is oddly credulous about Putin. His enemies and friends ask the same question: Why?... more »

Nov. 18, 2017 | In the Vale of Malmesbury, 80 miles west of London, the clay soil is shaped into gentle hills, dotted with stone farmhouses. It's here that conservatism meets conservation... more »

Nov. 17, 2017 | Glass is everywhere in photography, especially broken glass. When it breaks, what intrigues us is the brittleness that was there all along... more »

Nov. 16, 2017 | Ever heard of a wimmelbilderbuch, grimoire, or sammelband? Maybe you've visited a xylotheque? If that makes sense, congratulations: You know your obscure archival lingo... more »

Nov. 15, 2017 | Kierkegaard is a favorite of angsty adolescents. But it is adults, more than ever, who can most benefit from the ethical seriousness of his life and work... more »

Nov. 14, 2017 | Universal beauty is an old and compelling idea. Our species, however, is marked not by a particular aesthetic preference, but by the multiple paths of creativity itself... more »

Nov. 13, 2017 | Children's literature is concerned essentially with adventure, returning home — and with food. Whether teatime or the threat of being devoured, the motif is inescapable... more »

Nov. 11, 2017 | The invention of John Wayne. He was hard, brutal, anachronistic, a rebuke to the softness of postwar affluence. He was a creation of John Ford... more »

Nov. 10, 2017 | Did the ancient Greeks lack consciousness? So asserted Julian Jaynes, in a 1976 best seller. Now science has caught up with him... more »

Nov. 9, 2017 | How did Mark Bray, a buttoned-up academic historian, became the public face of antifa? By shedding his "inessential weirdness"... more »

Nov. 8, 2017 | When language met love. To a romantic interest, the budding poet Sylvia Plath wrote, “I love you more than the alphabet and Roget’s thesaurus combined.”... more »

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