Sept. 8, 2015 | “Nature writing” has become a cant phrase. But whatever you call it, we're living in a golden age of such literature... more »


Sept. 7, 2015 | We author our own lives, and the narratives we tell become us. So say philosophers like Daniel Dennett. What does this even mean?... more »


Sept. 5, 2015 | "I have one consistency, which is being against the totalitarian – on the left and on the right. The totalitarian is the enemy." Christopher Hitchens's last interview... more »


Sept. 4, 2015 | The historian Robert Conquest was also a figure of great literary significance. His criticism reads like a manifesto of common sense... more »


Sept. 3, 2015 | The Library of America began publishing in 1982. But the idea was born in the mid-1950s, out of the friendship of Edmund Wilson and Jason Epstein... more »


Sept. 2, 2015 | After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, four million people rallied in France. To some, it was a repudiation of terrorism. For Emmanuel Todd, it was a travesty... more »


Sept. 1, 2015 | Perhaps you've heard of Amish “wisdom” books or “Plain” cookbooks, but Amish romance fiction? Inside the curiously popular world of the bonnet ripper... more »


Aug. 31, 2015 | Oliver Sacks — doctor, humanist, contrarian, neurological novelist — is dead. He was 82... Telegraph... Guardian... Michiko Kakutani... Jerome Groopman... Sabine Heinlein...... more »


Aug. 29, 2015 | In Chimen Abramsky's house of books – 20,000 titles – the walls were made of words. It smelled old and musty but was one of left-wing London's great salons... more »


Aug. 28, 2015 | It's been said that the novelist is the historian of the present and the historian the novelist of the past. Consider how Edward Gibbon aligned scholarship with art... more »


Aug. 27, 2015 | Irving Kristol, “godfather” of neoconservatism, was foremost an anti-utopian. Odd that neoconservative foreign policy is such a crusade... more »


Aug. 26, 2015 | The Henry Kissinger reputation restoration project is in full swing. Volume 1 of an authorized biography delivers 1,000 pages of unconvincing claptrap... more »


Aug. 25, 2015 | You've heard of it. You can picture it (think "armored bikini”). But the chastity belt was a myth, mostly... more »


Aug. 24, 2015 | Are research retractions increasing because errors and misdeeds are more common, or because science is more scrutinized? Both. And the latter cures the former... more »


Aug. 22, 2015 | Lucia Berlin’s life was rich and eventful. Her experience — mining camps, yacht clubs, slums — became her writing... more »


Aug. 21, 2015 | Kant is associated with optimism, ambition, progress. But he suffered from depression and “general morbid feelings.” His last word: “Enough”... more »


Aug. 20, 2015 | The invention of the color black. From the Industrial Revolution to Pollock's drip paintings, black has depicted negation, chaos, but also joy... more »


Aug. 19, 2015 | Tom Friedman vs. Bill Flack. One is a noted columnist, the other an irrigation specialist. One is world-famous, the other a nobody. Yet Flack is better at forecasting the future... more »


Aug. 18, 2015 | Joan Didion’s anti-journalism. She disliked interviews, did little reporting, and failed to "get" the story. Her brilliance came another way — close reading... more »


Aug. 17, 2015 | An economy must provide the possibility of a good life -- a life in which creativity and imagination can flourish. It no longer does so in the West... more »


Aug. 15, 2015 | Responsibility, solidarity, moral clarity: What it's like to read and discuss Tony Judt in a Soviet-era bunker in wartime Ukraine... more »


Aug. 14, 2015 | David Foster Wallace dissected the chauvinism of writers like John Updike: “Just a penis with a thesaurus.” Yet Wallace is central to the pretensions of Updike's heirs... more »


Aug. 13, 2015 | The punch-happy writer is a literary cliche. We recognize the usual suspects: Hemingway, Mailer, Bukowski. But Keats, Camus, Lawrence, Thackeray? Who knew?... more »


Aug. 12, 2015 | Literature, art, music, architecture, religion, and science all have canons. What about the ingredients stirred into the tastes of our time? Why not a culinary canon?... more »


Aug. 11, 2015 | When and how did news of the Holocaust first reach the West? An investigation discovers no conspiracy of silence, but much ignorance... more »


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