Nov. 29, 2017 | Walcott, Brodsky, Heaney. Three great poets, at the height of their powers, converged on Boston. The result: Rabelaisian gusto... more »


Nov. 28, 2017 | The world’s most pessimistic philosopher. David Benatar thinks life is so bad, people shouldn’t have children. A trip inside the strange world of anti-natalist thinking... more »


Nov. 27, 2017 | "Liberalism is failing not because it fell short but because it was true to itself," says Patrick Deneen. "Liberalism is failing because liberalism succeeded"... more »


Nov. 25, 2017 | The greatest expression of Romanticism in the 20th century can be found in the works of Tolkien. But after Tolkien, now what? Bradley J. Birzer has some thoughts... more »


Nov. 24, 2017 | When language divides. Even a lingua franca like English has esoteric registers, which repel outsiders and reinforce the insularity of its speakers... more »


Nov. 23, 2017 | The complex history of flash photography: Welcomed at first as a quasi-divine way of showing what had previously been hidden, now it can seem like an unwelcome intrusion... more »


Nov. 22, 2017 | Economics is not inherently unreliable; it just tends to be that way. The fault belongs to economists themselves, but also to those who ignore them... more »


Nov. 21, 2017 | Viewing other people as objects enables our very worst conduct — that notion has long been a reassuring one. The truth may be harder to accept... more »


Nov. 20, 2017 | Stephen F. Cohen, who says he's skeptical about everything except horses and bourbon, is oddly credulous about Putin. His enemies and friends ask the same question: Why?... more »


Nov. 18, 2017 | In the Vale of Malmesbury, 80 miles west of London, the clay soil is shaped into gentle hills, dotted with stone farmhouses. It's here that conservatism meets conservation... more »


Nov. 17, 2017 | Glass is everywhere in photography, especially broken glass. When it breaks, what intrigues us is the brittleness that was there all along... more »


Nov. 16, 2017 | Ever heard of a wimmelbilderbuch, grimoire, or sammelband? Maybe you've visited a xylotheque? If that makes sense, congratulations: You know your obscure archival lingo... more »


Nov. 15, 2017 | Kierkegaard is a favorite of angsty adolescents. But it is adults, more than ever, who can most benefit from the ethical seriousness of his life and work... more »


Nov. 14, 2017 | Universal beauty is an old and compelling idea. Our species, however, is marked not by a particular aesthetic preference, but by the multiple paths of creativity itself... more »


Nov. 13, 2017 | Children's literature is concerned essentially with adventure, returning home — and with food. Whether teatime or the threat of being devoured, the motif is inescapable... more »


Nov. 11, 2017 | The invention of John Wayne. He was hard, brutal, anachronistic, a rebuke to the softness of postwar affluence. He was a creation of John Ford... more »


Nov. 10, 2017 | Did the ancient Greeks lack consciousness? So asserted Julian Jaynes, in a 1976 best seller. Now science has caught up with him... more »


Nov. 9, 2017 | How did Mark Bray, a buttoned-up academic historian, became the public face of antifa? By shedding his "inessential weirdness"... more »


Nov. 8, 2017 | When language met love. To a romantic interest, the budding poet Sylvia Plath wrote, “I love you more than the alphabet and Roget’s thesaurus combined.”... more »


Nov. 7, 2017 | “Curator” once meant amateur or iconoclast (think Barnum showcasing “industrious fleas”). Now we have “museum studies” and credentials. Have exhibits improved?... more »


Nov. 6, 2017 | Can a pure and radical idealism be sustained without eventually curdling into despair or cynicism? The Center for Political Beauty, in Berlin, tests the limits of aggressive optimism... more »


Nov. 4, 2017 | We talk about books we haven’t read and books we’ve read but forgotten. Maybe one day we’ll discuss books that we’ve imagined... more »


Nov. 3, 2017 | The curious influence of Samuel Moyn. How did the deceptively boyish-looking historian at Yale became a role model to a generation of young political thinkers?... more »


Nov. 2, 2017 | Herman Melville’s son, Stanwix Melville, rode through cemeteries, experienced a shipwreck, and dealt with failing eyesight. He was dead at 34... more »


Nov. 1, 2017 | Theodore Dreiser tried just about everything to succeed, even working for a publishing house whose motto was “The worse the swill, the more the public will buy”... more »


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