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 »


Dec. 10, 2016 | Freeman Dyson, who knew Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Feynman, thinks three qualities help make a successful scientist: ignorance, craziness, subversiveness ... more »


Dec. 9, 2016 | Combining Norse legend, Greek myth, dope fiends, Neolithic hunter-gatherers, and kimchi, Jack London tried his hand at writing science fiction... more »


Dec. 8, 2016 | P.G. Wodehouse never escaped the stain of his wartime broadcasts on German radio. Could it be that he was guilty only of stupidity?... more »


Dec. 7, 2016 | The accidental propagandist. One Hundred Years of Solitude made Gabriel García Márquez famous. It also made him an unwitting operative of the CIA... more »


Dec. 6, 2016 | Amy Cuddy's TED talk on power poses — feet apart, hands on hips, head thrown back -- has been viewed 37 million times. How did such a flimsy idea become a sensation?... more »


Dec. 5, 2016 | Literary culture won't disappear, but it will continue to shrink. "It will go back to what it was when I started out," says Martin Amis, "which is a minority interest sphere"... more »


Dec. 3, 2016 | For Schlegel, Tzara, and Schiller, art was by definition incomprehensible. Case in point: the Voynich Manuscript, which is quite possibly nonsense... more »


Dec. 2, 2016 | Boredom gets a bad rap. We need it in order to live and think well. Its defenders include Bertrand Russell, Nietzsche, Sontag... more »


Dec. 1, 2016 | The miserable academic job market and the re-emergence of little magazines are catalyzing  a cultural renaissance. Meet the new intellectuals... more »


Nov. 30, 2016 | The Job-like trials of Hugh Gordon Porteus. A disciple of Wyndham Lewis, he tried his hand at sinology, map designing, and dirty limericks. Success was elusive... more »


Nov. 29, 2016 | Emily Dickinson’s thoughts piled up on envelopes, chocolate wrappers, and bits of newspaper. Never in a rush, she was a scholar of passing time... more »


Nov. 28, 2016 | “How much do you need to forget in order to continue your everyday life? How much can you remember without dying from it?" The Israeli writer David Grossman finds answers... more »


Nov. 26, 2016 | Step aside, Picasso. Time to celebrate Francis Picabia, a modernist promiscuous both in style and his personal life... more »


Nov. 25, 2016 | As a young man, Jack London thrived among the delinquents on the Oakland waterfront. His stint in the cellar of society shaped his worldview... more »


Nov. 24, 2016 | Being Cornel West. He delivers righteousness and fiery passion. His rhetoric is more than a little ridiculous. But his politics are genuine... more »


Nov. 23, 2016 | How we think about who we are -- our feelings, our experiences -- shapes not only how we relate to the world but also our definition of consciousness ... more »


Nov. 22, 2016 | The ideal translator is a person "on whom nothing is lost,” said Henry James. Or maybe it's a machine. But a machine won't stop you from swearing at nuns... more »


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