Dec. 12, 2019 | “Screw that arty-farty literary twaddle.” A month before Stoner, John Williams’s crass brother-in-law published a book. At first it outsold Stoner two to one... more »

Dec. 11, 2019 | Walter Benjamin wrote his last work on the backs of colorful envelopes — green, yellow, orange, blue, cream. They were written for a future he would never know... more »

Dec. 10, 2019 | What differentiates people from pigs? Perhaps just the existence of autobiographical memories, from which we construct a self... more »

Dec. 9, 2019 | Lucian Freud sought to "move the senses by giving an intensification of reality.” He wanted to “shock and amaze.” At that he succeeded spectacularly... more »

Dec. 7, 2019 | Just as the invisible man’s retreat is a hibernation preparatory to action, Ralph Ellison’s letters are a map of his planned advance... more »

Dec. 6, 2019 | A new science of humanity. In the first half of the 20th century, anthropologists were at the forefront of “the greatest moral battle of our time”... more »

Dec. 5, 2019 | Every era has its fashionable argot. Ours is rife with buzzwords that have gone mainstream: "privilege," "problematic," "cisgender"... more »

Dec. 4, 2019 | A more scientifically literate public, it’s presumed, could better distinguish truth. But our problem is not too little science in public culture, but too much... more »

Dec. 3, 2019 | The flummery of neuroscience: Defeated by the “hard problem” of consciousness, the field postulates one improbable theory after another... more »

Dec. 2, 2019 | Amid the grief, grievances, and betrayal in the marriage of Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell, what remained was a need to write to each other... more »

Nov. 30, 2019 | What do the digital, medical, and legal humanities have in common? They subjugate the humanities to applied fields... more »

Nov. 29, 2019 | Wherever one looks in history, rationality is haunted and teased by its other, irrationality. Now the boundary is being abandoned altogether... more »

Nov. 28, 2019 | Liberal, literary attacks on “woke” culture have something in common: They are expressed in irritable gestures rather than ideas... more »

Nov. 27, 2019 | Has Silicon Valley killed creativity? Artists, astrologers, and addicts, pushed out by high rent, find themselves in an impossible situation... more »

Nov. 26, 2019 | Social media has devolved into a contagion of moral grandstanding and outrage-mongering. And yet it can be fixed... more »

Nov. 25, 2019 | Modern science rejected Aristotle, turning him into a caricature and a bogeyman. Time to unlearn something important. Aristotle was not “pre-scientific”... more »

Nov. 23, 2019 | "Forcing opinions into the mouths of dead writers is a dangerous style of necrophilia, especially when the writer is Adorno"... more »

Nov. 22, 2019 | Elaine Showalter was a target of Harold Bloom's attacks. Yet she still found his combination of the melodramatic and ridiculous an engaging shtick... more »

Nov. 21, 2019 | Is plagiarism wrong? Worry less about people stealing from you. Worry more about saying something worth stealing... more »

Nov. 20, 2019 | “September 1, 1939,” perhaps Auden's most-quoted poem, is the one he liked least. Why did it survive all of his attempts to mute or suppress it?... more »

Nov. 19, 2019 | “I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know than all the allegorical paintings they can show me,” held Samuel Johnson... more »

Nov. 18, 2019 | Victor Serge was a permanent oppositionist — a committed revolutionary who was a thorn in the side of every movement he supported... more »

Nov. 16, 2019 | "The question of what you are is qualitative, not quantitative. What sort? What life? What team? In late 1995, I chose to switch teams.” Deirdre McCloskey on changing gender... more »

Nov. 15, 2019 | Unable to predict a crash or facilitate prosperity, economics is now a field of dubious value. And yet it retains an unearned intellectual authority... more »

Nov. 14, 2019 | Ibsen was reviled by some as immoral, hailed by others as prophetic. James Joyce thought him the most influential intellect of his time. Ibsen retains his potency today... more »

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