Sept. 26, 2020 | Lettering was everywhere in Medieval Western Europe, but only about one in 10 could read. As a result, words were considered holy... more »


Sept. 25, 2020 | "If the only way to get anything done at a university is to raise money from a corporation, we’re not going to know what we need to know about the world and the human condition," says Jill Lepore.  ... more »


Sept. 24, 2020 | History and its futilities. Orlando Patterson brought social science to bear on postcolonial Jamaica. Now he chronicles the failures of such efforts ... more »


Sept. 23, 2020 | G.E. Moore, who championed common sense, was an influential philosopher. But a great one? Probably not  ... more »


Sept. 22, 2020 | If Christopher Hitchens were still around, what would he make of the world today? Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie discuss   ... more »


Sept. 21, 2020 | Disease in the time of Defoe. In 1722 he offered advice: Avoid excessive eating and drinking, and restore humoral balance  ... more »


Sept. 19, 2020 | A museum is auctioning off a Jackson Pollock to raise money to diversify its collection. Laudable goal, bad plan  ... more »


Sept. 18, 2020 | Stanley Crouch, the jazz critic whose outsize opinions were rendered in scalding, pugilistic prose, has died. He was 74  ... more »


Sept. 17, 2020 | When Waltham was radical. How a suburb of Boston became an unlikely fount of new currents in leftism... more »


Sept. 16, 2020 | An Ancient Roman paradox: parricide was punished gruesomely, but revenge killings weren’t prosecuted at all... more »


Sept. 15, 2020 | Despite the vitriol Philip Larkin held for his parents, he wrote home about every little thing — his red trousers, his allergies, his constipation... more »


Sept. 14, 2020 | What will save the English department? Love, says Mark Edmundson. Professors need to remind themselves that their love for literature is what brought most of them into the profession  ... more »


Sept. 12, 2020 | “A deluge of things.” We inherit our passion for clutter from Victorians like Marion Sambourne, who owned 66 upright chairs   ... more »


Sept. 11, 2020 | To read great books by flawed authors, we must recognize the sins of the past but also look for moments of shared human experience   ... more »


Sept. 10, 2020 | New Yorker writers cultivate reticence, self-deprecation, and wit. As Janet Malcolm learned, those are the last things a jury wants in a witness   ... more »


Sept. 9, 2020 | We think of tact as a little virtue — something commendable but unnecessary, a luxury of polished social interaction. But it’s far more important than that   ... more »


Sept. 8, 2020 | Kafka's sentences open with a lucid idea before attempting to present its consequences, comma after unrelenting comma   ... more »


Sept. 7, 2020 | The Seamus Heaney experience. His gravitas and vast learning were leavened by a droll, high-spirited streak and his capacity for merriment   ... more »


Sept. 5, 2020 | The tradition among mathematicians to name discoveries after one another is charming. It's also a colossal headache  ... more »


Sept. 4, 2020 | The policing of speech is more common than it was 15 years ago. Political correctness has run amok, says Tyler Cowen. But so then has everything else... more »


Sept. 3, 2020 | Yes, The Great Gatsby conveys grand themes and fine descriptions. But what makes it a Great American Novel? It’s really short  ... more »


Sept. 2, 2020 | Ayn Rand is widely reviled for her ideology. But was she also a terrible writer? Not exactly. Sometimes she was even a halfway good one  ... more »


Sept. 1, 2020 | Silicon Valley is a strange place, and Jaron Lanier occupies an even stranger place within it  ... more »


Aug. 31, 2020 | To express life in a concentration camp, imprisoned Jews created a new musical genre: lager-lieder... more »


Aug. 29, 2020 | Lucian Freud at work. When a painting neared completion, he would step back and, “as though taunting himself,” murmur, “How far can you go?”  ... more »


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