Jan. 20, 2018 | Gone is the century of the self. Now we inhabit the century of the crowd. What will it do to literature? Early indications are not promising... more »


Jan. 19, 2018 | An angry woman can make people uneasy, while a sad woman tends to summon sympathy. But anger can be a responsibility, says Leslie Jamison. It's about accountability... more »


Jan. 18, 2018 | Is the basis of seemingly disinterested criticism really just willful schadenfreude, with a hidden killjoy locked inside even the noblest critic?... more »


Jan. 17, 2018 | A revolution against boredom, punk music was the 20th century’s last avant-garde movement. What does its demise mean for creative life?... more »


Jan. 16, 2018 | Fire and Fury shows that the political and moral problem of this president — a "real-life fictional character" — is also a literary problem: How to get below the surface of a man who is all surface... more »


Jan. 15, 2018 | What to do with the works of artists whose conduct has been abhorrent? If a work of art speaks, it does so in a way that transcends the limitations and imperfections of the artist... more »


Jan. 13, 2018 | Art and the Awokening. As politics and pop culture converge, we must distinguish between what's engineered to flatter contemporary taste and what says something new... more »


Jan. 12, 2018 | We’re awash in life-hacking tips and self-optimization. Do yourself a favor: Put away the self-help guides. Read a novel... more »


Jan. 11, 2018 | With stylish prose and showy erudition, The New Criterion respectably skewered academic jargon and defended high culture. Then came Roger Kimball... more »


Jan. 10, 2018 | We tell ourselves that animals lack thought, emotion, and an understanding of death. Those are frail distinctions — they’re more like us than we think... more »


Jan. 9, 2018 | When work changes, companies reward new ways of feeling about it. Enter corporate mindfulness. But what about when breathing exercises aren't enough?... more »


Jan. 8, 2018 | The internet divides us; facts can make us dumber; debunking leads only to more bunk. Those are the tenets of our "post-truth" era. Don't believe them... more »


Jan. 6, 2018 | There were 10 to 20 of them, scientists and philosophers. They met on Thursday evenings, calling themselves the Vienna Circle. We're still struggling with the aftermath... more »


Jan. 5, 2018 | Defying the finger-wagging consensus that rational eating means nutrition over pleasure, Henry Finck, a music critic, undertook a new crusade: showing Americans how to savor flavor... more »


Jan. 4, 2018 | Think of how readily we accept what a female writer is, or should be. Women are best at looking inward; men are truth-tellers. Women feel, men report... more »


Jan. 3, 2018 | Liberty Under the Soviets, published in 1928, is a remarkable book. How rare to witness the mind of a man doing his best to ignore that his faith is a lie... more »


Jan. 2, 2018 | We have inherited a lot from Martin Luther, but we misunderstand him. He was not a prophet of modernity but a fear-driven fanatic, a case study in how the reactionary mind-set evolves... more »


Jan. 1, 2018 | Family life wants consistency, repetition, routine, clear things. Eroticism is a different story. Can Esther Perel solve the predicament of contemporary sexuality?... more »


Dec. 30, 2017 | What, exactly, are thought experiments? Glimpses into Plato’s heavenly realm? Simple, ordinary argumentation? They may be something else entirely: mental modeling... more »


Dec. 29, 2017 | “Factuality” in fiction. For Mary McCarthy, novels had to do one thing above all else: communicate the truth, unpopular as it may be... more »


Dec. 28, 2017 | Knausgaard writes about doing housework, making tea, buttering sandwiches, the ordinariness of his daily existence. What makes his writing so compelling?... more »


Dec. 27, 2017 | Romain Gary was a clown prince of French literary life. Little of what he said was true, though he was essentially honest. He personifies the distinction between fabulist and fraud... more »


Dec. 26, 2017 | Derided by the public, attacked by politicians, a scapegoat and strawman for left and right alike, the humanities will nonetheless endure — even if there is no case to defend them... more »


Dec. 25, 2017 | Sexual liberation in fiction. Edith Wharton’s writing on sex was informed by Whitman, Nietzsche, and Wilde, and an affair with a journalist... more »


Dec. 23, 2017 | What does biology teach us about human nature? That there is no such thing as human nature. We have to make it up as we go... more »


(Page 1 of 40) next »