June 14, 2016 | The stories of Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens are accounts of how we come to un-believe... more »

June 13, 2016 | How Hemingway became Hemingway. He gathered a group of friends, headed to Pamplona, and returned a middlebrow revolutionary... more »

June 11, 2016 | Laurie Penny is a romantic. She has a tender, squishy heart. She likes weddings but is wary of marriage. There's just too much else to do... more »

June 10, 2016 | Gershom Scholem and Theodor Adorno disagreed about many things. And they did it over the course of a three-decade correspondence — a dialogue between survivors... more »

June 9, 2016 | We love trivia, quiz shows, picking up strange tidbits of knowledge. Why? “The world is the totality of facts, not of things,” wrote Wittgenstein ... more »

June 8, 2016 | Dave Hickey writes about art but issues no judgments. He's not trying to convince you of anything. He doesn't write criticism. He writes love songs... more »

June 7, 2016 | On the morning of March 5, 1953, Joseph Stalin struggled for breath at his dacha. He lifted his left hand, pointed menacingly, and died... more »

June 6, 2016 | The Price of Salt, adapted into the film Carol, depicts the beginnings of the kind of lesbian relationship Patricia Highsmith herself could never enjoy... more »

June 4, 2016 | Whose interests should the translator serve? Those who want to be entertained, or those “of the more masochistic school” who want to know what the original was like?... more »

June 3, 2016 | Walk the Nile, see Shakespeare in China, voyage by train as a well-dressed hobo — and be sure to write about it. We’ve never had more travel writing, but is it any good?... more »

June 2, 2016 | The most influential Jewish philosopher is the one Jewish philosopher to have been excommunicated. Spinoza paved the way for modern Judaism. It’s time to rethink his ban... more »

June 1, 2016 | Reading Dawkins in the time of Crispr. It’s been 40 years since The Selfish Gene was published. He regrets the title, but the book holds up... more »

May 31, 2016 | The Shostakovich wars. Was he a conflicted yet compliant Stalinist sympathizer? Or a subtle dissident? What's certain is that he struggled to live a life devoted to music... more »

May 30, 2016 | The faulty logic of a problematic metaphor: human brain as computer. The comparison is so silly, why is it so sticky?... more »

May 28, 2016 | When T.S. Eliot’s writing was good, it was very, very good. When it was bad, it neared horrid. Cue the snobbery, the schoolboy nastiness, the racism... more »

May 27, 2016 | Poets and their birthdays. An annual excuse for mopey and rueful words: It's their party and they’ll cry if they want to. And poets want to... more »

May 26, 2016 | Reading Edward Said in a warming world. The critic had no time for tree-huggers, who he felt lacked a proper cause. But tree-huggers should make time for Said... more »

May 25, 2016 | Edgar Allan Poe and his admirers. Baudelaire revered him, as did Tennyson, Hardy, and Yeats. Edmund Wilson thought him the finest critic America ever produced... more »

May 24, 2016 | Speak, butterfly. How the intricate structures of Pnin, Lolita, and Pale Fire were inspired by Nabokov's dissections of butterfly genitalia... more »

May 23, 2016 | Every day about 300 million photographs are uploaded to Facebook. An estimated 204 million emails are sent every minute. How do we decide what to keep?... more »

May 21, 2016 | The art of suffering. In private, Edith Piaf was a practical joker. On stage, she personified deprivation, pain, loss -- and she never broke character... more »

May 20, 2016 | Toxic adverbs! Prose today is polluted by them. They are an abomination, evidence of dullness in the choice of verbs and adjectives... more »

May 19, 2016 | English departments are always in search of the next big theory -- structuralism, ecocriticism, evolutionary criticism. Now it's digital humanities... more »

May 18, 2016 | Virginia Woolf thought the Brontës' social isolation — not to mention their knitting and piano playing — enfeebled their true genius. The opposite is closer to the truth... more »

May 17, 2016 | To see Shakespeare performed live is to confront language opaque to a degree that no skilled actor can remediate. For some reason we tolerate this and call it a “poetic” experience... more »

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