March 3, 2020 | The real Joan Didion. Her work isn’t about her family or about death, but about the allure of alienation from all that... more »


March 2, 2020 | The idea of selfhood, taken for granted in secular societies, depends on a theistic worldview. John Gray explains... more »


Feb. 29, 2020 | In 2004, Richard Rorty went to Tehran. Thousands came to hear how philosophy could build democracy. They got something different... more »


Feb. 28, 2020 | Writers like V.S. Naipaul felt shame and self-loathing for Caribbean literature. Then came Kamau Braithwaite, who threw off the burden... more »


Feb. 27, 2020 | The stock market is a fickle beast. Is there such a thing as a philosophically responsible investment?... more »


Feb. 26, 2020 | In the early modern world, melancholy was no trivial matter. It could manifest as flatulence, migraine, or the belief that one is a shellfish... more »


Feb. 25, 2020 | Dave Hickey, at 80, is a broken-down lion of a man. What remains is a vision of art that extends to every realm of human endeavor... more »


Feb. 24, 2020 | Wrongly dismissed as a “depressive sexist,” Michel Houellebecq is actually the most serious and important novelist in Europe... more »


Feb. 22, 2020 | Millennial tries fancy thing (Sweetgreen salads, puffer jackets, Goop), is surprised to find life unchanged. Such “late capitalism” essays are everywhere — and are pointless... more »


Feb. 21, 2020 | Prepper Camp, as Lauren Groff discovers, spans Emersonian self-reliance, ninja survivalism, and homemade Mace... more »


Feb. 20, 2020 | Is feminist rage justified? That depends, argues Martha Nussbaum, on whether it manifests as vigorous protest or servile inactivity... more »


Feb. 19, 2020 | What can insect colonies teach us about politics? That self-interest isn’t as natural or as pervasive as we may think... more »


Feb. 18, 2020 | Judith Butler: Opening up possibilities requires radical imagining, which can embarrass you or make you seem a little crazy... more »


Feb. 17, 2020 | Are literary men abhorrent? Indeed so, says Adrienne Miller, former literary and fiction editor of Esquire, who counts the ways... more »


Feb. 15, 2020 | Bertrand Russell found prison life agreeable — plenty of time for reading and writing. The only problem was a guard shushing his laughter... more »


Feb. 14, 2020 | In the early 20th century, Newyorkitis was a disease. Its symptoms? Egotism, pompousness, greed, and “a circumscribed mental horizon"... more »


Feb. 13, 2020 | "The decline of the novel’s prestige reflects a new crisis born of our culture’s increasing failure of intellectual nerve and its terminal doubt about its own progress"... more »


Feb. 12, 2020 | Scientific authority never conveys moral authority. So why do economists, posing as philosopher-kings, claim insight into matters of right and wrong?... more »


Feb. 11, 2020 | "What is the correct response to a ruinous history? What, if anything, is the artist’s “duty”? Zadie Smith on Kara Walker... more »


Feb. 10, 2020 | Why is pop music so depressing? Fifty years ago, it was all about love, joy, and happiness. Now, it's hate, sorrow, and pain... more »


Feb. 8, 2020 | Ross Douthat is not sold on Silicon Valley: “The farther you get from that iPhone glow, the clearer it becomes: Our civilization has entered into decadence”... more »


Feb. 7, 2020 | “Philosophers should strangle their wives,” and other dubious thoughts — an evening with the charming, monstrously narcissistic George Steiner... more »


Feb. 6, 2020 | Against Althusser. The theorist was an out-and-out wacko who composed oracular gibberish... more »


Feb. 5, 2020 | Academic literary criticism is mired in the formal, modernist project of the 1930s. The persistence of this orthodoxy is baffling — but perhaps now it will change.... more »


Feb. 4, 2020 | T.S. Eliot and Emily Hale traded painful and ecstatic love letters for decades. When they were finally free to marry, he demurred... more »


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