July 24, 2019 | What does it cost to be a citizen of the literary world? Time, for one thing. But the demands we make of women writers are outsize ... more »


July 23, 2019 | The December 1937 issue of Partisan Review featured works by Trilling, Wilson, and Picasso. But that's not why it was a milestone... more »


July 22, 2019 | "Our most elite universities are today running away from their elitism.” But elitism, argues Anthony Kronman, is "something to be cherished and cared for"... more »


July 20, 2019 | When it comes to syntax, Lionel Shriver throws in her lot with the pedants. How else to arrest semantic drift?... more »


July 19, 2019 | John Stuart Mill was famous; Lord Byron was a celebrity. The distinction is rooted in history, culture, and how we consume our icons... more »


July 18, 2019 | The moon landing wasn't so much a triumph of science or a testament to the expansion of human horizons. The triumph was aesthetic... more »


July 17, 2019 | We flinch in the face of the Bible's misery and violence, chauvinism and misogyny, idealism and generosity, forgiveness and humaneness... more »


July 16, 2019 | Defense of the hipster. The mid-2000s aesthetic is much loathed, but its critics miss a crucial point: Even superficial movements matter... more »


July 15, 2019 | Walking has long been an essential literary act. But why do advocates of a good stretch of the legs have to be so damn smug about it?... more »


July 13, 2019 | J.B.S. Haldane created the field of population genetics and fought in the Spanish Civil War. But it's his quotability for which he is remembered... more »


July 12, 2019 | In 2001, John J. Lennon killed a rival drug dealer. Eighteen years of incarceration later, he reflects on the trials of literary life behind bars... more »


July 11, 2019 | So photos of meals on Instagram are nothing but food porn? Let's not be so cynical. What if those pictures are a new incarnation of an ancient instinct: prayer?... more »


July 10, 2019 | In his final years, Manet painted tiny, beautiful works. His critics dismissed these as prettified diversions, but he was after something larger... more »


July 9, 2019 | Dramatic horseback escapes, false identities. The Cold War’s first global manhunt wasn’t for a spy. It was for Pablo Neruda... more »


July 8, 2019 | Tolstoy memorably described boredom as “the desire for desires.” Erich Fromm called it "one of the greatest tortures." But what's lost when we lose the ability to be bored?... more »


July 6, 2019 | Academics think their work is timeless, like 13th-century monks’ transcriptions of Aristotle’s Poetics. Yet never underestimate the power of trendiness... more »


July 5, 2019 | As Margaret Atwood has said, “every utopia contains a little dystopia” — something certainly true of Victorian fiction’s all-female paradises... more »


July 4, 2019 | “Why the books? Why the babies? Why the essays? Why so many, why so fast?” Jill Lepore reveals her motivation — the memory of a brilliant friend... more »


July 3, 2019 | Natalia Ginzburg’s family — left-leaning Jews in Fascist Italy — watched in horror as terror, internal exile, and prison began to permeate “ordinary” life... more »


July 2, 2019 | The history of the poster. The form, which inspired dress-up parties in 1890s Paris, went on to be celebrated by Russian constructivists and derided by Sontag... more »


July 1, 2019 | “The way to one’s own heaven,” wrote Nietzsche, “always leads through the voluptuousness of one’s own hell.” Could happiness exist without hell?... more »


June 29, 2019 | Death of the anonymous author. If algorithms can pinpoint the identity of a writer — say, Elena Ferrante — does art as a whole lose out?... more »


June 28, 2019 | To constantly pursue something you can never catch is a form of madness. Yet that's exactly what we do by pursuing happiness... more »


June 27, 2019 | Intellectuals agree: Unlike our ancestors, we live in a disenchanted society. But what of our obsession with healing crystals, chakras, and the occult?... more »


June 26, 2019 | Iris Murdoch was that great, rare thing — a writer whose vision made you feel the sublime. Why aren't her books more widely read?... more »


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