Nov. 24, 2016 | Rauschenberg’s studio cost $10 a month and lacked water and heat. Just the place, perhaps, for radically altering our ideas about art... more »

Nov. 23, 2016 | Do fish feel pain? Is it immoral to swat a mosquito? Is it possible to harm a robot? We’re approaching a big historical divide in ethics, one that may take us beyond humanism... more »

Nov. 22, 2016 | The psychology of chicanery. We are all virtuoso novelists of our own identity, and, at times, confabulators. But how to create good stories?... more »

Nov. 21, 2016 | His November election was a surprise. His followers had faith -- in him, of course, but also in the institutions they believed would contain him. Then the war started ... more »

Nov. 19, 2016 | For Norman Mailer, some Salinger stories "seem to have been written for high school girls." It wasn't true, but it was the worst insult he could think of... more »

Nov. 18, 2016 | In romance, waiting has always been the rule. And the rituals of contemporary courtship underscore a related fact: It is always women who wait... more »

Nov. 17, 2016 | There are difficult writers and then there's D.H. Lawrence, for whom callousness was an intellectual catalyst. “You have to have something vicious in you, to be a creative writer”... more »

Nov. 16, 2016 | Jonathan Swift, inveterate joker, rarely laughed late in life. Life was a farce in every sense but the most important one, in that it was tragedy... more »

Nov. 15, 2016 | Bob Dylan was described by one scholar as “the greatest living user of the English language.” But how far do words go in encapsulating his art?... more »

Nov. 14, 2016 | Book reviewing used to be blood sport. But now new titles aren't so much criticized as endorsed, as if every book deserves at least a modest thumbs-up... more »

Nov. 12, 2016 | The world’s visual stimuli overload our senses, and so our beliefs help shape our perceptions. We see what we want to see. Tom Vanderbilt explains... more »

Nov. 11, 2016 | What can Margery Kempe, medieval mystic, teach us about literature today? That our relationship with it can be personal, immediate, physical, emotional, and excessive... more »

Nov. 10, 2016 | In 1940, a French novelist named Léon Werth joined the exodus fleeing the Nazis. He wrote an eyewitness account of his exile. He wrote like a man from the future... more »

Nov. 9, 2016 | Against retranslation. Too many recent academic efforts to update translations treat the texts like museum pieces. Where's the energy and spirit of earlier efforts?... more »

Nov. 8, 2016 | Fabric fails to impress. We shrug at a state-of-the-art raincoat, dress shirt, or pair of tights. But no technology is as powerful as fabric. Virginia Postrel explains... more »

Nov. 7, 2016 | Democracy is flawed: Citizens lack knowledge and judgment. John Stuart Mill proposed giving extra votes to those with university degrees. An idea whose time has come... more »

Nov. 5, 2016 | What is utopianism? For China Miéville, it is neither hope nor optimism, but rather a need for alterity, for “something other than the exhausting social lie”... more »

Nov. 4, 2016 | In the 19th century, the short half-life of scientific truth was new and frightening. What was science for, if not the discovery of eternal ideas?... more »

Nov. 3, 2016 | How to explain Freud's waning influence? We've grown skeptical of grand theories and fond of minimalist forms. It’s our loss... more »

Nov. 2, 2016 | Tocqueville admired, invested in, and wrote brilliantly of America. Yet he never felt at home there intellectually. Not as he did in England... more »

Nov. 1, 2016 | How to write a best seller. Avoid fantasy, science fiction, revolutions, dinner parties, dancing. Focus on work. We're fascinated by other people's jobs... more »

Oct. 31, 2016 | Male qualities are out of step with modern times, or so we're told. But before declaring masculinity in crisis, can we agree on how to define it?... more »

Oct. 29, 2016 | What is the work of an intellectual? More and more, it is to celebrate other intellectuals. For Stuart Hall, what mattered was turning other people into deep thinkers... more »

Oct. 28, 2016 | Kierkegaard broke off his engagement claiming to be a young cad in need of a “lusty young girl.” But it was more than that. His entire philosophy can be found in that renunciation... more »

Oct. 27, 2016 | After 1993, when Toni Morrison won the Nobel, the Swedish Academy ignored American literature. Now an American is ignoring the Swedish Academy. Thanks, Bob Dylan... more »

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