Jan. 9, 2017 | Derek Parfit was a philosopher of unusual novelty and insight. His gift rested on his indifference to individuals, relationships, and institutions... more »

Jan. 7, 2017 | Byron ate egg yolks; Whitman paced for miles and miles; Plath swallowed one pill after another: Why are poets so weird about sleep?... more »

Jan. 6, 2017 | Remember the Sokal hoax? It's been 20 years since a physicist published a sham article in an academic journal. Why he did it, and how, still matter... more »

Jan. 5, 2017 | Secrets of Stradivari. What explains the rich, dark, high-frequency, impossible-to-replicate sound of the peerless violin? ... more »

Jan. 4, 2017 | Depicting the dead was a fixture of 19th-century painting. The genre is marked by skewed bodily proportions and blunt symbolism ... more »

Jan. 3, 2017 | John Berger, art critic, novelist, screenwriter, essayist, counterculture celebrity, cattle herder, is dead. He was 90... more »

Jan. 2, 2017 | For the past 52 years, The Economist was housed in a London tower. The height, perhaps, facilitated its handing down of Olympian judgments... more »

Dec. 31, 2016 | Beyond the Black Notebooks. Heidegger’s newly revealed letters expose his anti-Semitism as a scholarly and moral disaster for German intellectual history... more »

Dec. 30, 2016 | Close reading with Marlene Dietrich. She had a sexually charged, cerebral relationship with Hemingway. Her true literary love, however, was Goethe... more »

Dec. 29, 2016 | Cinderella meets sadomasochism. Fairy tales have always departed from conventional morality, but in fin-de-siècle France, their deviance went further... more »

Dec. 28, 2016 | Karl Polanyi: Is the mid-20th-century economic theorist an example of the impracticality of left-wing thought? Or a guide for our times?... more »

Dec. 27, 2016 | Was Bach a bully? He was a teenage thug, drawing a dagger in an altercation with a bassoonist. Then there are the hints of anti-Semitism... more »

Dec. 26, 2016 | Feeling down about the state of the world? Cheer up, says Steven Pinker. Look at trend lines, not headlines, and you'll see that most long-term trends are heading in the right direction... more »

Dec. 24, 2016 | Seventy percent of museum visitors go for “a social experience” — indeed, serenity is in short supply in crowded galleries. That's why miniature exhibits matter... more »

Dec. 23, 2016 | "The most important thing for any intellectual to have is a sense of proportion," and liberal academics have lost it, says Mark Lilla. "Our campuses are not Aleppo”... more »

Dec. 22, 2016 | If someone changes drastically, does he or she become a different person? The answer to this old philosophical riddle may be in the nature of the change... more »

Dec. 21, 2016 | In 1964, Marshall McLuhan was unknown. By 1967, he was a star. How did an obscure professor from Canada transform himself from pious agrarian to media mystagogue?... more »

Dec. 20, 2016 | Fake news is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, fake news is older than real news. As facts recede, the power of concocted stories will only grow... more »

Dec. 19, 2016 | Next year, Russians will observe the centenary of the Russian Revolution. And their government will make sure they know almost nothing about it... more »

Dec. 17, 2016 | Best-selling books, it’s said, provide “a snapshot of an age.” Yet in every age, while characters and settings may have changed, the narratives are familiar... more »

Dec. 16, 2016 | Geriatric wisdom goes beyond nostalgia and mortality. It’s the humor of Beckett after slipping in the bathtub, the flair of Bellow getting out of the ICU... more »

Dec. 15, 2016 | Lügenpresse, umvolkung, völkisch, volksverräter, überfremdung: The language of Nazism is resurgent, an old lexicon for a new nationalism... more »

Dec. 14, 2016 | In 1914, Yeats and Pound held a dinner to celebrate the poet Wilfrid Blunt. Featured were roast peacock and insults galore. Passing the generational baton has never been easy... more »

Dec. 13, 2016 | Literary scholars read with vigilance, wariness, suspicion, distrust. Their criticism has a political aim. Which is to say pleasure plays no part... more »

Dec. 12, 2016 | Liszt drank a bottle of cognac a day; Brahms was boozy; Schubert was a drunk. A lot of great composers were fond of the bottle... more »

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