Jan. 25, 2020 | The historian Gertrude Himmelfarb was a nuanced parser of the Enlightenment. When it came to Modernism, however, she could only recoil in horror... more »


Jan. 24, 2020 | What is the enemy of writing today? Fear — of moral judgment, public shaming, social ridicule, and ostracism. The mob has the final edit... more »


Jan. 23, 2020 | Allan Bloom argued that a generation out of touch with great music, literature, and philosophy is a diminished generation. What's gleaned from reading him today?... more »


Jan. 22, 2020 | Anger, grudges, revenge — philosophers dismiss them as backward-looking and unhelpful. But there’s a moral case to be made in their favor... more »


Jan. 21, 2020 | Howard Jacobson confronts his Russianness: “The only reason my father never wrestled a bear is that there were none on the streets of Manchester”... more »


Jan. 20, 2020 | D.H. Lawrence's dark methods: Pseudophilosophize, free associate, conceal deficits of logic with phrases like "of course"... more »


Jan. 18, 2020 | The philosophy of small talk. Behind our pleasantries lies an existential query: Just who do you think you are?... more »


Jan. 17, 2020 | Consider hysterical critics: They point out some obvious moral lesson from art, then pivot to something more important: themselves... more »


Jan. 16, 2020 | For a time, doing philosophy meant grappling with the thought of Avicenna. Among his notable contributions: proving the existence of God... more »


Jan. 15, 2020 | How college became a commodity. Once-fringe libertarian ideas are now at the heart of how academe understands itself. That’s a travesty... more »


Jan. 14, 2020 | For Hume, poets were “liars by profession.” For Sir Philip Sidney, the poet "affirmeth" nothing and "therefore never lieth.” When, exactly, does literature lie?... more »


Jan. 13, 2020 | You've seen the studies: Reading fiction makes you more compassionate and generous. The bookish lap it up — and miss the bigger point... more »


Jan. 11, 2020 | Rock ’n' roll died between December 14, 1979, and October 17, 1980, a period bookended by London Calling and The River. It died of natural causes — mostly... more »


Jan. 10, 2020 | Most people think inequality is bad. But when asked to define what kind of equality is best, frustrations and complexity emerge... more »


Jan. 9, 2020 | Harold Bloom was deranged, oracular, and arrogant. Is it even possible to create art with his musings in mind?... more »


Jan. 8, 2020 | “The vehemence against yesterday’s martini-swilling, sport-coat-wearing taste-makers can lose sight that criticism is a discipline, not easily mastered”... more »


Jan. 7, 2020 | Nell Zink: “Dead writers are open yet thick-skinned, supreme angels of self-assurance, impossible to scare off — just the kind of friends I like best”... more »


Jan. 6, 2020 | “Own less stuff. Find more purpose.” Minimalism is a banal, saccharine exercise in faux epiphany... more »


Jan. 4, 2020 | How the restaurant review — "a journalistic luxury liner, designed to exalt lavish spending and indulgent dining" — became a vehicle of political protest... more »


Jan. 3, 2020 | Thanks to social media, celebrities now out-paparazzi the paparazzi. But self-surveillance comes at a steep cost... more »


Jan. 2, 2020 | Minority writing is suffused with the agony of being misunderstood. What happens, Hua Hsu wonders, when it joins the cultural mainstream?... more »


Jan. 1, 2020 | From youthful radicalism to middle-aged centrism, Daniel Bell never found a political project that did not disappoint him. Yet he avoided cynicism... more »


Dec. 31, 2019 | Jokes are exploratory as well as playful. In Stalin's Russia, though, they were no laughing matter. "The jokes always saved us," recalled Gorbachev... more »


Dec. 30, 2019 | From Spotify to Netflix, we consume culture that has been algorithmically shaped to our taste. But art is most potent when unexpected... more »


Dec. 28, 2019 | For Allen Ginsberg, mescaline brought ecstasy. For Walter Benjamin, philosophical irritation. For William James, vomiting and diarrhea... more »


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