Jan. 4, 2016 | The jurist as aesthete. Another side of the famously irascible Richard Posner is revealed in a book he wrote when he was 20: Yeats’ Late Poetry... more »


Jan. 2, 2016 | Intelligent, humane, suitably melancholy, The New Yorker at 90 has managed that rare thing in publishing: staying relevant... more »


Jan. 1, 2016 | Beloved by Montaigne, belittled by Voltaire and Napoleon, Tacitus was a literary artist, moralist, and historian — but in what order?... more »


Dec. 31, 2015 | The oldest art. Storytelling brings us together and helps us make sense of the world. It’s also primed for deception — and con artists have taken note... more »


Dec. 30, 2015 | The plight of the German-Jewish intellectual. For Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, and Gershom Scholem, “love of Israel” was a complicated issue... more »


Dec. 29, 2015 | Do Hansel and Gretel have inner lives? Not according to Phillip Pullman. "There is no psychology in a fairy tale," he insists — wrongly... more »


Dec. 28, 2015 | When the heroes of one era become the villains of another, the past is refought by the stone and bronze statues of piazzas, parks, and city streets... more »


Dec. 26, 2015 | The constrained scope, the proportional structure, the "handsome, clever and rich" heroine who is somehow likeable: Emma is the perfect novel... more »


Dec. 25, 2015 | In 1896, Paul Gauguin painted a young Polynesian woman with baby in a barn. Odd choice for a dissolute adherent of the
avant-garde... more »


Dec. 24, 2015 | War photography is brutal and beautiful. Indeed, the intensity of war makes the aestheticization of violence inevitable... more »


Dec. 23, 2015 | Rudyard Kipling's “If—” was an instant hit, a poetic paean to moral generalities, a classic of righteous certitude. But read it again; note the mounting anxiety... more »


Dec. 22, 2015 | Is an untestable theory science or science fiction? The question dogs modern physics. A three-day conference in Munich will try to answer it.... more »


Dec. 21, 2015 | Being Noam Chomsky's assistant means greeting students, political prisoners, politicians, musicians, overwhelmed fans, Cirque du Soleil clowns, lost souls... more »


Dec. 19, 2015 | The student revolt in Paris in 1968 gave rise to a generation of leftist thinkers and turned Roger Scruton into a conservative. At 71, he's still settling scores... more »


Dec. 18, 2015 | In a celebrated 1964 book, the British historian J.H. Plumb warned of a crisis in the humanities. He was wrong then. He's wrong now... more »


Dec. 17, 2015 | The tribulations of Rudyard Kipling. Physically abused from the age of 5, he would go on to lose his teeth, a daughter, a son... more »


Dec. 16, 2015 | Graham Greene had a taste for rebellion. "I was ready to be a mercenary in any cause so long as I was repaid with excitement and a little risk.” He found both... more »


Dec. 15, 2015 | "Am I a zealot, a terrorist, out on my own limb?" asks Gordon Lish. "Yes, with a vengeance!" At least when editing other people’s writing... more »


Dec. 14, 2015 | In 1913, Christopher Isherwood received a Kodak camera. Twenty years later, he wrote, “I am a camera.” What did he mean?... more »


Dec. 12, 2015 | What it’s like to marry a queer theorist. For Eve and Hal Sedgwick, it was about obsession, love, and intellectual capital... more »


Dec. 11, 2015 | What went into One Hundred Years of Solitude? A “piece of shit” contract, 30,000 cigarettes, and one transformative moment... more »


Dec. 10, 2015 | A modern Machiavelli. Edward Luttwak is a TLS-toting, bovine-raising intellectual. He claims a central role in the Prague Spring and in creating the Toyota Prius... more »


Dec. 9, 2015 | William Carlos Williams and the C-Suite. In an attempt to develop empathetic students, business schools are teaching literature. Does that work?... more »


Dec. 8, 2015 | Young Kurt Vonnegut thought he might work in advertising or open a library with a bar. His wife had other, more ambitious plans... more »


Dec. 7, 2015 | His writings ranged from the merely dubious to the patently false. Meet Romain Gary, literature's greatest impostor... more »


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