July 24, 2019 | “Believe me, I am not mad!” insisted Herman Melville, in response to frequent questions. Helping keep him sane: his beloved farm... more »


July 23, 2019 | Alan Lomax changed the music Americans listened to and the way they listen. Why is his work rejected by most ethnomusicologists today?... more »


July 22, 2019 | The wit and wisdom of the writers of the Algonquin Round Table are legendary. As for the group's larger significance, there isn’t much of one... more »


July 20, 2019 | In 1965 the varied landscape of book publishing began its consolidation into the conglomerate era. Has that changed the stories we tell?... more »


July 19, 2019 | A conundrum lies at the heart of Georges Perec’s work: Is it possible to write about the unimaginable cruelty with the infantile levity of a jigsaw puzzle?... more »


July 18, 2019 | Who are the most influential intellectuals? Prospect offers a list of the 50 thinkers explaining and changing the world... more »


July 17, 2019 | What works of art define our age? The New York Times asks artists and critics an impossible question... more »


July 16, 2019 | Bob Dylan fans can be insufferable obsessives, with a surfeit of trivia and a dearth of understanding. What about Dylan scholars?... more »


July 15, 2019 | Arson, self-mutilation, vandalism, perhaps even terrorism — Pyotr Pavlensky’s guerrilla art has landed him in jail. If that won’t stop him, what will?... more »


July 13, 2019 | Gore Vidal dedicated Myra Breckinridge to Christopher Isherwood, who called it a “very subtle psychological self-portrait.” He was more right than he knew... more »


July 12, 2019 | “The clothes we wear today are anachronistic, irrational, and harmful.” Why are we such fans of pockets, buttons, and zippers? Bernard Rudofsky had a theory... more »


July 11, 2019 | The so-called marketplace of ideas is broken. Turns out that neither markets nor people can be counted on to embrace the rational or the true... more »


July 10, 2019 | Intellectuals alone stand against bloodlust and mob mentality, and in doing so make up society’s moral compass. Or so holds Pankaj Mishra... more »


July 9, 2019 | The Great Awakening. For centuries, humans have been growing weaker. Was Rousseau right to lament this, or is there an upside to our enfeeblement?... more »


July 8, 2019 | Art and finance have a natural affinity and a longtime connection. Investors, in giving rise to modern and contemporary art, shaped the overheated market of today... more »


July 6, 2019 | Step aside, Pollock and de Kooning. Deep-pocketed buyers are losing interest in abstract art. What do they crave? SpongeBob SquarePants with Xs on his eyes... more »


July 5, 2019 | The cult of cute. Hello Kitty, ET, Jeff Koons’s “Balloon Dog” — the power of this aesthetic is in its uncanny subversion of boundaries... more »


July 4, 2019 | First thought of as simply “An Improvement in Stairs,” the humble escalator is now ubiquitous: The number doubles every 10 years... more »


July 3, 2019 | At the end of the 19th century, Lafcadio Hearn was one of America’s best-known writers. Today he’s forgotten in the U.S. and a cultural icon in Japan... more »


July 2, 2019 | A field at odds with itself. While some medievalists decry white supremacists’ co-opting their field, others warn of a “social-justice incursion”... more »


July 1, 2019 | Allergic to nuance and abstraction, Simone Weil produced a piercingly clear call to oblige the “needs of the soul”... more »


June 29, 2019 | Sherrilyn Kenyon was “the dark queen of paranormal romance.” Then sinister acts extended into the author’s real life... more »


June 28, 2019 | Thousands of bogus academic journals are running rackets around the world. As a result, science is facing a crisis of legitimacy... more »


June 27, 2019 | “As far as I am concerned, everybody should write like a man.” Terry Castle sounds off on the authorial life, self-importance, and the value of humor... more »


June 26, 2019 | Kissinger, Rostow, and Brzezinski were academics who became influential policy makers. How did political science become irrelevant to politics?... more »


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