Nov. 6, 2017 | "Writing or reading an essay isn’t the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and what your life might mean," says Jonathan Franzen. "But it is one good way"... more »


Nov. 4, 2017 | The job of the critic is changing, says Lionel Shriver. It's not to assess a book’s storytelling, but to castigate writers guilty of any crimes of the imagination... more »


Nov. 3, 2017 | Does the pursuit of knowledge trump the pursuit of ethical behavior? That question fueled Foucault's turn from madness and sexuality to politics... more »


Nov. 2, 2017 | Kant thought entire civilizations incapable of philosophy. Derrida said China had no philosophy, only thought. Why did Western philosophy turn its back on the world?... more »


Nov. 1, 2017 | “Alexander Calder wanted to be clear and unfussy, to get straight to the point. At the same time, he liked to linger over life’s oddities and obscurities”... more »


Oct. 31, 2017 | In the era of the quantified self, does the old-fashioned chronicling of passing thoughts and daily minutiae still serve a purpose? Dear Diary…... more »


Oct. 30, 2017 | If Allan Bloom’s surname had been Smith, would The Closing of the American Mind have been written? Probably not, says Jonathan Kay, who reads a lot into Bloom's biography... more »


Oct. 28, 2017 | "Public conversation is overpoliticized and undermoralized,” says David Brooks. "Relationships and mercy and how to be a friend — these are the big subjects of life, and we don’t talk about them enough"... more »


Oct. 27, 2017 | Peer review is essential. That’s obvious. What isn't obvious is that it should be organized as it is — or even that it should be organized at all... more »


Oct. 26, 2017 | Designed by an expert on Swiss phallic cults, the Rorschach test remains influential among Argentines, Japanese marriage counselors, and American courts... more »


Oct. 25, 2017 | John Rawls called it "the best of all games"; Mark Kingwell calls it "the most philosophical of games." What is it about baseball and philosophy?... more »


Oct. 24, 2017 | What makes male characters in Jane Austen so sexy? It has something to do with the taming of the masculine principle. William Deresiewicz explains... more »


Oct. 23, 2017 | In love, there’s no inoculation against betrayal. So think of affairs as a feature of relationships, not a bug. So says Esther Perel, who charges $1,500 a session for such insights... more »


Oct. 21, 2017 | “If the rise of humanism was a sunrise, then in this present time we are seeing an eclipse.” Marilynne Robinson on the value and fate of the humanities... more »


Oct. 20, 2017 | "The fate of artists and of art itself is in the hands of too few persons, who share kindred tastes and cultish dogma," says Jonathan Meades. It is a cult of "puritanical, po-faced, censorious nothingness"... more »


Oct. 19, 2017 | Poor George Orwell. The bare-knuckled revolutionary has been reduced to a cuddly, bipartisan grandpa. Orwell’s deradicalization has a long and shameless history... more »


Oct. 18, 2017 | After a decade of hype, the digital humanities has merely confirmed what should have been obvious all along: More information is not more knowledge... more »


Oct. 17, 2017 | Whether in a scholar’s attempt to live like a badger or in recent nature writing, one question stands out: What is looking back at us through other species’ eyes?... more »


Oct. 16, 2017 | In an age when truth is dismissed as fiction, the novel matters more because we all live by fictions. It’s how we get to the truth... more »


Oct. 14, 2017 | "The infatuation with portents — with the supposed relevance of voices from the past — is neither bread nor circus. It’s an obsession with history that can also be a form of amnesia"... more »


Oct. 13, 2017 | The nonstop crescendo of Allan Bloom's assault on the modern university made it easy for liberals to dismiss him — too easy. Todd Gitlin explains... more »


Oct. 12, 2017 | Coleridge and Wordsworth, Byron and Shelley. We’ve long celebrated male literary friendships while labeling female authors isolated eccentrics. Time to correct the record... more »


Oct. 11, 2017 | “What are these pines & these birds about?” wondered Thoreau. “I must know a little more.” So he embarked on his masterpiece — not Walden, but his journal... more »


Oct. 10, 2017 | Dinged as a sex-obsessed, money-hungry charlatan, Anthony Burgess earned a reputation that merits a different distinction: His work was a late triumph of modernism... more »


Oct. 9, 2017 | Henry James transformed the novel form into something new. Turn to chapter 27 of The Portrait of a Lady to see the birth of the psychological novel... more »


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