May 27, 2019 | The enclosed life. In the Middle Ages in Europe, hundreds of religious recluses permanently sealed themselves inside small rooms. Why?... more »


May 25, 2019 | Imagine writing a masterpiece and never getting to see it in print. Such was the fate of Vasily Grossman... more »


May 24, 2019 | Storytelling was Shakespeare’s gift, and no stories gripped him more than those of classical antiquity... more »


May 23, 2019 | Natural preserves have been havens from the modern world, a place to get away. On social media, the good spots can no longer hide... more »


May 22, 2019 | Mozart’s revolution. He composed for aristocrats and the public alike, exploding class lines in a frenzy of creativity... more »


May 21, 2019 | The odyssey of Sean Wilentz, part New York intellectual, part Beltway pundit, part meticulous historian... more »


May 20, 2019 | Pity the precocious? The hyper-intelligent often suffer from boredom, isolation, and depression — and so genius may not be the gift we perceive it to be... more »


May 18, 2019 | Hemingway, war correspondent. His arrangement with Collier’s magazine was doomed from the start — and a $187,000 expense claim didn’t help... more »


May 17, 2019 | Nathan Glazer was the rare social scientist who was as indifferent to grand theorizing as he was to ideological consistency... more »


May 16, 2019 | Harper Lee was always writing — letters, casino reviews, bar ballads. Why wasn’t she wasn’t publishing anything?... more »


May 15, 2019 | Artificial humans are a cliché of science fiction. When they finally arrive, they will seem to some a disappointment. Ian McEwan explains... more »


May 14, 2019 | Bolaño and Ferrante caught on, but, in general, Americans continue to shrug at foreign fiction. What has sent the market for translations into decline?... more »


May 13, 2019 | Pinocchio, beyond mendacity. The moral of the folktale, dark and complex, concerns the value of education under authoritarianism... more »


May 11, 2019 | Welcome to academe’s extinction event. What's that you smell? A noxious combination of failure, whiskey, and professional collapse... more »


May 10, 2019 | A lifetime of looking. To view Bruegel’s monumental works is to encounter an encyclopedic totality and a love for the world’s multiplicity... more »


May 9, 2019 | Sherwood Anderson, sage of small-town life, was reviled in his own hometown. The local librarian burned copies of Winesburg, Ohio... more »


May 8, 2019 | What mechanisms of evolution led to the emergence of high-level cooperation among humans? E.O. Wilson and the fight over altruism... more »


May 7, 2019 | Bergsonmania. Henri Bergson’s lectures on philosophy led to mobbed venues and the first-ever traffic jam on Broadway. Why was he so popular?... more »


May 6, 2019 | This month thousands of scholars will gather for the Congress on Medieval Studies. Among the questions up for debate: Does the field have a white-supremacy problem?... more »


May 4, 2019 | Hitler’s favorite conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler was known for a wobbly beat and the cultivation of inexactitude — a sort of spontaneity by design... more »


May 3, 2019 | “A Seditious man and of a disordered mind, and a person of bad name, reputation and Conversation.” So determined the court regarding Daniel Defoe... more »


May 2, 2019 | Camille Paglia joined the University of the Arts in 1984. Now a group of students believes it is too dangerous to talk openly about her ideas on campus... more »


May 1, 2019 | After at least 14,000 years of living with dogs, why are we only now getting around to considering what goes on inside their heads?... more »


April 30, 2019 | David Brooks gets woke. “Maybe racial injustice is at the core of everything,” he says. “I’ve had that thought”... more »


April 29, 2019 | When Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak met Jacques Derrida. "I did not recognize him until he came up to me and said, in French, Je m’appelle Jacques Derrida,” and I almost died... more »


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