Jan. 24, 2019 | The New Atheists are no longer new. Long past the movement’s height, its critique of liberalism lives on, with help from friends in the “intellectual dark web”... more »


Jan. 23, 2019 | Journalism is faster, edgier, needier, angrier. As for its future, the problems are well understood, but solutions hard to see... more »


Jan. 22, 2019 | “Electric buttons have become the masters of the world,” complained a French nobleman in 1903. Technophobia has spread, but getting rid of technology isn’t the answer... more »


Jan. 21, 2019 | How Martin Seligman stopped worrying and learned to love writing pop psychology. “‘I’m rich,’ I announced to my mother on the phone”... more »


Jan. 19, 2019 | Is Twitter ruining book publishing? Lionel Shriver hits out at “morality clauses,” which make publishing contracts vulnerable to the whims of online outrage... more »


Jan. 18, 2019 | How do we judge abstract art? Do narratives make us more empathetic? These aesthetic riddles are suddenly the domain of experimental psychology... more »


Jan. 17, 2019 | The re-fructifying of Saul Bellow. After he recovered from a coma incurred in the Caribbean, his 80s may constitute the best final act in American letters... more »


Jan. 16, 2019 | How wide is the circle of ideas not worthy of discussion? Which beliefs should be judged as “out of bounds” — and who gets to be the referee?... more »


Jan. 15, 2019 | Death of the author? Barthes’s 1967 declaration made sense at the time, but authorship has been hard to do away with... more »


Jan. 14, 2019 | The philosopher’s penchant for argument is grounded in a conception of the good life and the duties of good citizenship. It also inevitably makes him come off as an arsehole... more »


Jan. 12, 2019 | A viciously critical review, with finely honed mockery and acid-tipped one-liners, is born of righteous fury. But it can become pure joy... more »


Jan. 11, 2019 | Victor Klemperer’s diaries, which recorded the creeping Nazification of German society, are masterful; his earlier reports are less so... more »


Jan. 10, 2019 | An American philosopher in Paris must contend with the noisome beast known as "French theory." And marvel at how Derrida was able to tantalize the Anglophone world... more »


Jan. 9, 2019 | Essays and essayists. The form requires a combination of exactitude and evasion, and — on writers’ part — sensitivity, tenderness, and slyness... more »


Jan. 8, 2019 | What did Homer mean when he described the sea as "wine-dark": red, white, or rosé? Such debates keep the classical language alive — and Mary Norris enthralled... more »


Jan. 7, 2019 | How do you judge fiction? How do you say one story is better than another? Doing so is hard to distinguish from deep prejudice. Or you can use a softer word, like taste... more »


Jan. 5, 2019 | We're years into an unprecedented social experiment: the moneyballing of human existence. The early results are in, and they're not encouraging. We now think algorithmically, subjectively... more »


Jan. 4, 2019 | The search engine, initially an attempt to map human meaning, now defines human meaning. It controls, rather than simply catalogs or indexes, human thought... more »


Jan. 3, 2019 | At 29, Percy Bysshe Shelley still looked like a child. He continued sailing paper boats into adulthood. Was his poetry similarly immature?... more »


Jan. 2, 2019 | Writing in 1956, Erich Fromm predicted the "disintegration of love in Western culture.” His words were prescient. We are falling out of love with love... more »


Jan. 1, 2019 | 2018 featured memorable essays on our historical moment, on the viciousness of online life, and, weirdly, on tigers. David Brooks gives out his Sidney Awards... more » ...... more »


Dec. 31, 2018 | The ugly truth about Alice Walker. For years she has expressed odious views about Judaism. For years she was given a pass. Perhaps that's changing... more »


Dec. 29, 2018 | In old age, everything droops, wrinkles, falls out, detumesces, or dries up. But, as Susan Gubar explains, literary life continues... more »


Dec. 28, 2018 | Gerard Manley Hopkins died in 1889. He’d published only a few poems, and there was no great clamor for more — before a beguiling 1918 edition was released... more »


Dec. 27, 2018 | Although he played up his eccentricities in public, Edward Gorey was a shy, private man who took perverse pride in the dullness of his own existence... more »


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