Jan. 18, 2022 | Has the Thomas Mann revival trivialized him, reducing the Great Ambiguator to an op-ed columnist? Alex Ross makes the case ... more »

Jan. 17, 2022 | The hatchet job is back, made for internet virality. These book reviews have even given rise to a new literary mode ... more »

Jan. 15, 2022 | “Thou shalt not…” “To be or not to be?” “I would prefer not to.” Words of negation like “not” have a mysterious power   ... more »

Jan. 14, 2022 | Does art serve social justice? Does social justice serve art? Such questions promote a narrow view of what art can do... more »

Jan. 13, 2022 | David Hume and a footnote. In one sentence, he forever tarnished his reputation. What lesson do we take?... more »

Jan. 12, 2022 | Martha Nussbaum: “With humor, with science, with kindness, let us resist the ignoble and damaging project of disgust”  ... more »

Jan. 11, 2022 | In praise of tackiness: Cheesecake Factory, Guy Fieri, the band Creed — where would we be without such low aesthetics?... more »

Jan. 10, 2022 | Louis Menand and Roosevelt Montás clash over the purpose of studying literature. Their disagreement is both interesting and important ... more »

Jan. 8, 2022 | W.E.B. Du Bois’s masterly “Black Reconstruction” got a vitriolic reception in 1935. The vitriol lingers on... more »

Jan. 7, 2022 | Secularism has given rise to substitute religions — Romanticism, communism, social crusades. Each has failed in turn ... more »

Jan. 6, 2022 | “While death can be an astute career move for underrecognized writers, it proved critically disastrous for T.S. Eliot” ... more »

Jan. 5, 2022 | What explains Amia Srinivasan’s popularity? Perhaps her tendency to avoid hard conclusions, argues Katha Pollitt ... more »

Jan. 4, 2022 | Even an obscure book by a great writer should never be considered obsolete. Consider the newfound relevance of Thomas Mann's Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man... more »

Jan. 3, 2022 | In 1865, Dostoevsky suggested a story idea to his editor and asked for 300 rubles. Thus Raskolnikov’s inauspicious origins... more »

Jan. 1, 2022 | Forget “blast!” or “confound it all!” Sometimes, as new research shows, proper swearing is what we need... more »

Dec. 31, 2021 | The history of the tractor. John Deere’s Model D squared off against Henry Ford’s Model F and an ingenious “Tractivator” ... more »

Dec. 30, 2021 | Once you are attuned to it, disgust is everywhere. But does it really define — and explain — humanity? ... more »

Dec. 29, 2021 | Hannah Arendt’s work is fundamentally about the discovery of human freedom and its gradual disappearance... more »

Dec. 28, 2021 | “In a world infatuated with victimhood, has trauma emerged as a passport to status — our red badge of courage?”... more »

Dec. 27, 2021 | "If art ... performs any form of moral service, it does so by alerting us to the difficulties of being moral"  ... more »

Dec. 25, 2021 | Who needs English or political science, universities are wondering, when there’s engineering and computer science ... more »

Dec. 24, 2021 | Wittgenstein, who regarded philosophy as a “kind of magic,” noted more than a few parallels linking conjurers and philosophers ... more »

Dec. 23, 2021 | Robert Zaretsky is a professor devoted to reading in a world where his students are not. How absurd, right?... more »

Dec. 22, 2021 | Graydon Carter: “The Christopher Hitchens I knew and adored wouldn’t be like the majority of us, huddling in our trembling silence” ... more »

Dec. 21, 2021 | Confessions of a crossword constructor: The puzzle “acts as a window into our fantasies, tastes, and unyielding fixations” ... more »

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