June 12, 2017 | What's the relationship among genes, race, and IQ? The near-impossibility of a definitive answer has let assertion substitute for evidence... more »

June 10, 2017 | Many of the statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi of the ancient world were colorfully painted. And yet the association of beauty with pristine whiteness continues. Why?... more »

June 9, 2017 | Cyril Connolly was obsessed with his own worst traits: laziness, nostalgia, gluttony, hypochondria, frivolity. His fetish for failure was, oddly, a source of inspiration.... more »

June 8, 2017 | Newton getting bonked by an apple, Archimedes problem-solving in the bath: What eureka moments say — and don’t say — about the scientific process... more »

June 7, 2017 | How beauty happens. The purpose of a peacock's tail feathers is less utilitarian than aesthetic. Or so goes a new theory of sexual selection... more »

June 6, 2017 | The Dreyfus affair gave us the word “intellectual.” It also redefined truth, justice, and art. Look at the impact on Proust, Joyce, Kafka  ... more »

June 5, 2017 | Film as an art form is routinely dismissed in comparison to books. The attitude is so taken for granted that people assume even Martin Scorsese subscribes to it. He doesn't... more »

June 3, 2017 | Technological change can make even recent “contemporary” fiction feel dated. So writers of literary works are increasingly setting them in the future... more »

June 2, 2017 | The friendship of Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt ended over questions of good, evil, and historical responsibility. Their argument continues to be relevant... more »

June 1, 2017 | Schools of thought in philosophy and cultural theory are transient. They coalesce, evolve, break apart. So how has the Frankfurt School endured for three generations?... more »

May 31, 2017 | When Shirley Jackson arrived at the hospital and was asked her occupation, she said “writer.” The nurse responded, “I’ll just put down housewife"... more »

May 30, 2017 | It's where Confucius and Lao Tzu went to think, where Li Bai and Du Fu went to find words, where Mao demonstrated his authority. In China, everything starts with a river... more »

May 29, 2017 | Shakespeare and the brain. Stephen Booth is a literary critic with a penetrating view of poetic language. He's transformed our understanding not only of Shakespeare but also of how we think... more »

May 27, 2017 | At 32 Nietzsche left Basel to recuperate in Sorrento. There he separated himself from Wagner, which was odd — Wagner was also in Sorrento... more »

May 26, 2017 | How can we be? The fMRI can't identify the source of consciousness, but it can bring the problem into sharper relief... more »

May 25, 2017 | Pound and Eliot. Lish and Carver. Brod and Kafka. Fiction editors sit uncomfortably at the intersection of art and commerce. The role is ripe for recrimination... more »

May 24, 2017 | It used to be simple: dark suit, white shirt, discreet tie, black oxfords. Then came "casual Fridays" — and all we lost by dressing down... more »

May 23, 2017 | Is intersectionality solving social ills? Or does it make us stupid? The academic theory, once obscure, is now everywhere... more »

May 22, 2017 | In 2011, Daryl Bem, a social psychologist, published a paper in a top journal suggesting that ESP is real. That touched off a crisis of confidence in science. Should he be thanked or blamed?... more »

May 20, 2017 | Travel writing is not all Kerouac and Chatwin. In fact, it doesn’t have to involve traveling farther than around a room... more »

May 19, 2017 | A decade ago, highly confessional first-person writing began to flood the internet. Now it’s nearly vanished. What killed the personal essay?... more »

May 18, 2017 | For four days at a sold-out, $1,250-per-ticket conference at a Boston hotel, content marketers offered a vision of the future of media. It's terrifying... more »

May 17, 2017 | “The past is yours, to keep invisible if you wish,” wrote John Ashbery. His own past is quite public, including a 1,000-page teenage diary... more »

May 16, 2017 | Encouraged by success, F. Scott Fitzgerald continued in a lofty, literary, yet Hollywood-ready mode. But the demands of art and audience rarely aligned... more »

May 15, 2017 | Do you believe that technology should speed up and intensify? Are you OK with social and political upheaval? Then you might be an accelerationist... more »

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