May 13, 2017 | While his archrival eluded the KGB to cruise boy bars, Emil Gilels, foremost pianist of the Soviet era, fell in line. In the end, it didn’t matter... more »

May 12, 2017 | Christophe Guilluy, who calls himself a geographer, studies gentrification in France. Ideologically and intellectually, he is difficult to place. He's becoming impossible to ignore... more »

May 11, 2017 | Pointed hats, broomsticks, caldrons, cats. Why do we assume witches look a certain way? Blame the rise of the mass-produced woodcut... more »

May 10, 2017 | You’re in your early 20s, your first book is a big success, you're called a genius. How would you react? If you're Dostoevsky, you'd become an insufferable jerk... more »

May 9, 2017 | Poor Nietzsche. Not only is he blamed for World War I and Nazism, but he's maligned as the godfather of postmodern relativism. Nonsense. He was a champion of the Enlightenment... more »

May 8, 2017 | Shakespeare receives a disproportionate amount of attention. He's unavoidable. But his dominance serves a purpose: It keeps the literary ecosystem functioning... more »

May 6, 2017 | Ezra and Papa. They partied in Paris, promoted each other's work, and took up boxing. Then Hemingway moved to Key West, and Pound took an interest in Italian politics... more »

May 5, 2017 | Fake Modiglianis began to emerge in the 1920s, soon after his death. Now he is one of the world's most faked artists. There are even fake fakes... more »

May 4, 2017 | Sex letters. James Joyce sent them. So did Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. Proust sent one to his grandfather. In the age of Tinder, does the sex letter have staying power?... more »

May 3, 2017 | Welcome to Scrutopia, the English countryside enclave of farmers and philosophers, Wagner and wine, animals and Aristotle. Roger Scruton calls it home... more »

May 2, 2017 | Robert Nozick was fed up with trying to win people over to his views. So he limited himself to explaining systems of thought, and forever altered analytic philosophy... more »

May 1, 2017 | He conducted without a baton, his hair flopping on his large face. Leonard Bernstein was a star, and that made him suspect... more »

April 29, 2017 | From 1500 to 1700, the way humans read was transformed. They did it in private, at their own pace, rereading and thinking about reading. They deepened a new set of cognitive skills... more »

April 28, 2017 | For centuries the peat bogs of Northern Europe have yielded remarkably well-preserved ancient cadavers. At least we know how they died... more »

April 27, 2017 | The seeker. Rod Dreher is a spiritually and intellectually restless writer: He's confessional, sincere, and sometimes overwrought. Can he ignite a turn toward modern monasticism?... more »

April 26, 2017 | Virginia and Leonard Woolf started Hogarth Press to escape the limitations of publishers. Soon, however, those limitations became their own... more »

April 25, 2017 | If you're in Reykjavik and want to say “heavy snowfall with large flakes occurring in calm wind,” there's a word for that: Hundslappadrifa. Can it survive AI?... more »

April 24, 2017 | Scholars are painstakingly reproducing all of Emily Dickinson's faintly penciled jottings. The undertaking is necessary and laudable. It's also misguided ... more »

April 22, 2017 | The defiant conformists of Bloomsbury. “Only in Great Britain did the modern intelligentsia conform to the ruling class rather than rebel against it”... more »

April 21, 2017 | Long skeptical of the value of philosophy, Silicon Valley may be coming around. “When bullshit can no longer be tolerated,” they turn to a sort-of Chief Philosophy Officer... more »

April 20, 2017 | The sculptor Camille Claudel spent 30 years in an asylum. Some blame her breakdown on a failed relationship with Rodin — but it was she who broke his heart... more »

April 19, 2017 | The legend of Zelda Fitzgerald. She was ahead of her time, a proto-feminist, a victim of the patriarchy and of her husband. Or something like that... more »

April 18, 2017 | Should public art be affirmative? Kara Walker makes provocative, monumental works that challenge the idea... more »

April 17, 2017 | In 1961, a B-list Hollywood figure sought out J.D. Salinger to secure film rights to Catcher in the Rye. Their encounter reads like a "one-act play bound for the theater of the absurd"... more »

April 15, 2017 | Conrad Aiken’s poetry is often dismissed as literary “navel-gazing.” But consider his sense of grandeur: His tombstone read “Cosmos Mariner — Destination Unknown”... more »

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