July 4, 2020 | The melancholy of reading Max Weber resonates today, maybe more than ever, even if he offers little illumination and less consolation... more »


July 3, 2020 | “Britain’s a world/By itself,” says a typically villainous Shakespearean character. The Bard has always been somewhat miscast in the role of England’s national poet... more »


July 2, 2020 | The miseries of the male libido were obsessions of Bellow, Roth, and Updike. Now, if male novelists take up the subject at all, they force sex into a neat moral framework... more »


July 1, 2020 | Max Weber’s troubles were at least in part sexual — castration was discussed as a cure. That changed when he met Else Jaffé in his later years... more »


June 30, 2020 | Do theoretical asides — like those in The Magic Mountain — happen on the level of plot? The novel of ideas is full of such riddles... more »


June 29, 2020 | "Time exists, as love exists, as a myth: real because contingent, real because constructed, a catch-all term for phenomena bigger"... more »


June 27, 2020 | The Point, n+1, Jacobin — today’s little magazines all suffer from the same flaw: a congenital addiction to seriousness... more »


June 26, 2020 | Henry Fielding, Adam Smith, and other 18th-century intellectuals found no food finer than the potato. It was Enlightenment superfood — the kale of its time... more »


June 25, 2020 | “The cat of the wood,” “the stag of the cabbages” — if there is magic in this world, no small part of it lies with that majestic creature, the hare... more »


June 24, 2020 | Was the chilly stroll by Rudolf Carnap and Martin Heidegger in Davos in 1929 the moment that analytic and Continental philosophy truly split?... more »


June 23, 2020 | What has the coronavirus revealed? For many, the answer is: “Whatever I thought was wrong with the world before, well, this proves it”... more »


June 22, 2020 | Can American racism be seen in the same terms as the murderous ideology of the Nazis and be similarly discredited? No, such a comparison only confuses... more »


June 20, 2020 | “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us.” So wrote James Baldwin in 1965, in words that echo today... more »


June 19, 2020 | In his 90s, Habermas is increasingly consumed by questions of faith and religion. His latest book spans more than 3,000 years and 1,700 pages... more »


June 18, 2020 | Loud, constant parakeet chatter, the squawking of crows – there is no such thing as bad birdsong, a welcome respite from self-absorption... more »


June 17, 2020 | How to decide which statues can remain standing and which should be toppled because they honor racists? Julian Baggini offers a rational... more »


June 16, 2020 | “The intractable problem for thinking beyond the nation-state is that its imputed obsolescence can neither be easily forced nor messianically awaited”... more »


June 15, 2020 | Is an exhausted liberalism being supplanted by a successor ideology that's apparent everywhere? Ross Douthat makes the case... more »


June 13, 2020 | Descartes argued that developing grand philosophical visions requires meditative solitude. Is such work incompatible with being a parent?... more »


June 12, 2020 | “The real point about Communists,” wrote Vivian Gornick decades ago, is that they “were like everybody else, only more so.” Her point is finally sinking in... more »


June 11, 2020 | Minimalism was in, KonMari was all the rage, and then a pandemic hit. Now clutter is useful as never before... more »


June 10, 2020 | Charles Portis, author of True Grit, died in February at 86. He was a master of American vernacular... more »


June 9, 2020 | To see the Third Reich captured in 100 vile objects is to realize how good the Nazis were at photography and industrial design... more »


June 8, 2020 | Want a job in academia? No problem — as long as you specialize in Shakespeare, Romanticism, Victorianism, modernism, and everything else... more »


June 6, 2020 | Wesley Morris: "The most urgent filmmaking anybody’s doing in this country right now is by black people with camera phones”... more »


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