Nov. 11, 2016 | Instead of bending to the dictates of socialist realism, Isaac Babel simply wrote less. He told people he was mastering a new genre: silence... more »

Nov. 10, 2016 | George H. Nash, godfather of conservative intellectual history, famously explained the movement's success. Now he's grappling with its abandonment of critical thought... more »

Nov. 9, 2016 | The literary legacy of the Man in Black. Johnny Cash’s verse speaks more to psalm-singing than to gunslinging, argues Paul Muldoon. We should take note... more »

Nov. 8, 2016 | In 1857, Frederick Law Olmsted began to redesign Central Park. He was supremely qualified — except for a lack of any artistic experience... more »

Nov. 7, 2016 | For all his refined taste and passion for art, Kenneth Clark was emotionally stunted. Adulation made him feel like a fraud. "My feelings are as stiff as an unused limb”... more »

Nov. 5, 2016 | When Robert Conquest wasn't writing about the atrocities of the 20th century, he was writing love poems and dirty limericks. Other poets are taking note... more »

Nov. 3, 2016 | On bibliotherapy. Novels are hardly cures for our life problems. Books drive people to do strange things. They don’t solve problems, they create new ones... more »

Nov. 2, 2016 | Born in Russia and educated in Britain, Nabokov saw himself as an American writer. He was also a critic of American culture, especially its racism... more »

Nov. 1, 2016 | The godfather of crime fiction, Thomas De Quincey inhabited the dark fringe of Romanticism. He even applauded murder as one of the finer “arts” of life... more »

Oct. 31, 2016 | "From a very early age, I had this sense of harshness and the need for endurance.” John Berger at 90, still arguing about how to see art -- and the world ... more »

Oct. 29, 2016 | Buckminster Fuller popularized the geodesic dome and the idea that technology is society’s salve. Was he, as McLuhan had it, the Leonardo of his time?... more »

Oct. 28, 2016 | Hilton Als was 14 when he first read James Baldwin. "I realized you could write in a ... there's no other way to put it, really, except it was a kind of high-faggoty style"... more »

Oct. 27, 2016 | Animal Farm in America. How an unknown democratic socialist rode the acclaim for his "little squib" of a fable to become the leading literary Cold Warrior... more »

Oct. 26, 2016 | Bards thought writing would destroy our memories; scribes loathed the printing press. Now handwriting enthusiasts have taken up this tradition of snobbery... more »

Oct. 25, 2016 | “The most bank-clerky of all bank clerks” is what Aldous Huxley called T.S. Eliot. If only Huxley had known that the poet walked around London with his cheeks powdered and his lips rouged... more »

Oct. 24, 2016 | Thomas Merton's embrace of monasticism revealed his paradoxical character. Here was a "garrulous apostle of silence who thrived among words"... more »

Oct. 22, 2016 | An investigation into the history of books bound in human skin reveals that it was usually a doctor wielding the knife... more »

Oct. 21, 2016 | At 69, Marina Abramovic is skinny dipping, creating a holographic avatar, conducting semi-occult brain-wave experiments. Some things never change... more »

Oct. 20, 2016 | Forget J.M.W. Turner the man. He lived only to paint, so the (often sordid) details of his biography are irrelevant, right? Not quite…... more »

Oct. 19, 2016 | Diane Arbus cultivated a bond between subject and photographer. She propositioned strangers -- to take their pictures and to sleep with them... more »

Oct. 18, 2016 | Have intellectuals, focusing on the past, ignored the future? The economist Robin Hanson, who has a few ideas about our robot-dominated destiny, thinks so... more »

Oct. 17, 2016 | Philosophy, which, according to Aristotle, begins in wonder, has embraced pedantry and protocols and office charts. Can it be saved from itself?... more »

Oct. 15, 2016 | Talking with the painter, writer, critic, and TV-and-film visionary John Berger is strenuous. He suffers neither bullshit nor idle conversation... more »

Oct. 14, 2016 | What constitutes style for a literary critic? The oscillation between mastery and accident, artifice and character. Consider the work of Elizabeth Hardwick... more »

Oct. 13, 2016 | Sex and seduction in Grantchester. For the poet Rupert Brooke and his neo-pagan friends, summer was for swimming naked, canoeing, and reading Milton... more »

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