Nov. 22, 2018 | The greatest book ever written about the theater? The Season by William Goldman, who died recently. What makes it great? Its bluntness... more »


Nov. 21, 2018 | An idiom is like a musical phrase; a cliché is like an earworm. "If idioms help us think outside the box, clichés box us in"... more »


Nov. 20, 2018 | What do we mean when we talk about “quality of life”? Aging is not a problem to be solved. It is a meaning to be lived out... more »


Nov. 19, 2018 | The pun, long considered the lowest form of wit, is widely — and unfairly! — reviled. Puns are at once pedestrian and profound... more »


Nov. 17, 2018 | What is "cultural Marxism"? An old slander posing as a new insight. The myth led to grievous harm in the last century. How about ours?... more »


Nov. 16, 2018 | What makes bullshit bullshit? The answer is psychological and sociological, as well as linguistic and philosophical... more »


Nov. 15, 2018 | How did Sartre come to embrace Marxism? The tale involves his friendship with Camus, and his work at a clandestine newspaper... more »


Nov. 14, 2018 | "It remains startling to me how little many men have to do to earn intellectual authority," says Jill Lepore, "and how much more women have to do"... more »


Nov. 13, 2018 | The American Memoir tells a recurring story of personal responsibility and freedom from history. As Christopher J. Lebron explains, it is a lie... more »


Nov. 12, 2018 | Difficult books are difficult in different ways. Some are just plain bad. But readability is not always good. The case for difficult books... more »


Nov. 10, 2018 | Calling bullshit has a venerable intellectual pedigree. And why not? Bullshitters get the kudos without the work... more »


Nov. 9, 2018 | Wars of conquest have declined sharply over the past seven decades. Could a treaty signed in 1928 be the cause?... more »


Nov. 8, 2018 | Art, before the age of mechanical reproduction. The four extant original manuscripts of Old English poetry are a reminder of the yawning void of history... more »


Nov. 7, 2018 | When Donald Hall turned 80, he’d stopped writing poetry. He'd lost 60 pounds. He was ill and depressed. Then he rediscovered prose... more »


Nov. 6, 2018 | A golden age of English literature began under a draconian monarchy. For Thomas Wyatt, this meant collaborating with — and falling victim to — tyrants... more »


Nov. 5, 2018 | The whitewashing of antiquity. Fascists have long looked to the ancient world as a source of ideology and pride. They are abetted by a generation of scholars... more »


Nov. 3, 2018 | Francis Perey’s eureka moment had come. Unfortunately, the physicist’s landmark paper was “maddeningly repetitious philosophical froth”... more »


Nov. 2, 2018 | Who would have thought that n+1, largely founded by men, would in time become the world’s least boring journal of feminist theory?... more »


Nov. 1, 2018 | The art world is a place of cravenness and tropospheric wealth, beset by toxic rot and junkie-like behavior. Yet it can still produce good work... more »


Oct. 31, 2018 | Beyond dark and stormy nights. Gothic literature is more than candles and curses. Its chief concerns are terror, the sublime, and the uncanny... more »


Oct. 30, 2018 | True artistic freedom comes from not caring about quality, métier, or meaning. Magritte found it when he set those all aside to make a joke... more »


Oct. 29, 2018 | Claude Debussy, a "very, very strange man," was an acutely literary composer. His music, heavily influenced by poetry, is easy to love but hard to explain... more »


Oct. 27, 2018 | The Swedish Academy’s decision to take a year off from awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature brings to a close more than a century of foolishness... more »


Oct. 25, 2018 | The workings of the multimillion-dollar machine that publishes academic journals are complex. They're also implausible and outrageous... more »


Oct. 24, 2018 | The opponents of political correctness are not a pitiable collection of angry old white men. They are people of all ages and all colors protective of their liberties... more »


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