Dec. 4, 2014 | To understand the economics of space exploration, look to Zheng He, leader of an elite band of eunuch adventurers in 15th-century China... more »


Dec. 3, 2014 | Hans Ulrich Obrist ? super-curator, data gatherer, gadfly of the European art circuit ? is afflicted with wanderlust and logorrhea... more »


Dec. 2, 2014 | The comedy of Kafka biography: It's silly to read about the man when you could be reading his books... more »


Dec. 1, 2014 | France is abuzz about pundit-provocateur Eric Zemmour's diagnosis of what ails the country... more »


Nov. 29, 2014 | The rise of cubism. What happened in Paris in 1910 can be thanked or blamed for almost everything in art that came later that century... more »


Nov. 28, 2014 | Beyond Lucky Jim. Campus novels have evolved since Kingsley Amis. The genre has moved beyond jaded satire... more »


Nov. 27, 2014 | From Hugh Hefner to Gloria Steinem, Reinhold Niebuhr to Groucho Marx: These 100 people defined the 20th century ? at least according to The New Republic... more »


Nov. 26, 2014 | Few relics of the traditional book business remain. Then there's Fred Bass, 86. Four days a week, he mans the book-buying desk at The Strand... more »


Nov. 25, 2014 | 'I am not a saint who lives in a loincloth and eats goat's cheese and doesn't have sex and says 'I?m poor,'? declares Arundhati Roy. 'It's crap?... more »


Nov. 24, 2014 | Decline of the avant-garde. 'They got authority by damaging the earlier establishment,' says David Hockney. ?But they damaged all authority?... more »


Nov. 22, 2014 | Our passwords, ourselves. More than an annoyance, they are suffused with pathos, mischief, sometimes even poetry. They are totems of our inner lives... more »


Nov. 21, 2014 | The fragment is the size of a credit card, with eight lines of text. It will change the way we understand Christianity. Or it's a hoax... more »


Nov. 20, 2014 | An entity rules the world. Maybe you can influence it, warns Jaron Lanier, but you?d better be in terrified awe of its power. Divinity? Or technology?... more »


Nov. 19, 2014 | The case for Van Gogh's suicide is tarnished by bad history, bad psychology, and bad forensics. So if he didn't shoot himself, who did?... more »


Nov. 18, 2014 | Whether tapered, snout-like, or hooked, the Jewish nose displays a remarkably diverse history in Christian art... more »


Nov. 17, 2014 | Anonymous is a hacker collective of young geeks in funny masks writing faux-revolutionary manifestoes. It's hardly a serious political movement... more »


Nov. 15, 2014 | William McPherson has a Pulitzer Prize and no money. He isn't wretched-of-the-earth poor, but he's poor. Here's how he reached that status... more »


Nov. 14, 2014 | At Kyoto Imperial University in the 1940s, the search for a philosophy of absolute nothingness pointed in one direction: kamikaze pilots... more »


Nov. 13, 2014 | In the early 50s, German-Jewish philosophers began returning to Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Heidelberg. Jürgen Habermas was a young man at the time. He remembers it well... more »


Nov. 12, 2014 | Flirting in Morse code. 19th-century telegraph operators were a surprisingly literary bunch, with a knack for the romance novel... more »


Nov. 11, 2014 | Once the subject of intellectual scorn, the gothic is back. What's the allure of leylines, Freemasons, and ghosts?... more »


Nov. 10, 2014 | In praise of gossip. Behind-the-back chitchat and the exchange of juicy tidbits are what makes society possible... more »


Nov. 8, 2014 | At Lab126 in Silicon Valley, people in light-blue lab coats are inventing the future of reading ? a future owned by Amazon... more »


Nov. 7, 2014 | 'One writes a repellent book not to be repellent but to represent the repellent, to expose it, to reveal how it looks.' Roth rereads Portnoy's Complaint... more »


Nov. 6, 2014 | What an 18th-century hellfire preacher taught Marilynne Robinson about metaphysics, aesthetics, transcendence, and the complexity of things... more »


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