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 »


Dec. 5, 2015 | When Baryshnikov met Brodsky. “He was sitting, smoking, very red, very handsome," says Baryshnikov. Soon he met Milosz, Spender, Sontag. “That was my university"... more »


Dec. 4, 2015 | In 1849, Herman Melville arrived in London with a vague idea for a "romance of adventure." Moby-Dick was born during a walk around town... more »


Dec. 3, 2015 | The wholesale discrediting of Victorian art lasted from the 1910s into the 1960s. Its rehabilitation is a great and understudied phenomenon... more »


Dec. 2, 2015 | Can the riddle of consciousness be solved by quantum physics, neuroscience, and a new theory of information?... more »


Dec. 1, 2015 | Ada Lovelace was either the first programmer or an overrated 19th-century figure. Either way, she was one of the best writers about computing... more »


Nov. 30, 2015 | There is always a need for wise, omnivorous critics, advocates of complexity over simplicity. Clive James is among the best of them... more »


Nov. 28, 2015 | Aldous Huxley was a prolific and panoramic thinker on the question of human potential. He was also something of a dupe... more »


Nov. 27, 2015 | Primo Levi was a great writer, a vivid writer, an unflinching writer, an indispensable writer. He was also a limited writer... more »


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