Feb. 20, 2016 | There's bullshit and then there's bullshit in science: arguments, data, articles that have a veneer of truth and seem plausible, but aren't... more »


Feb. 19, 2016 | A sinister parasite on the work of Stravinsky, or a musical genius in his own right? The shady, irascible, exceptionally talented Robert Craft... more »


Feb. 18, 2016 | How to distinguish good sex writing from pornography? Both require a dirty mind, but the former demands exactitude, daring, and cleverness... more »


Feb. 17, 2016 | Criticism of technology cites design tweaks and economic analyses. To grasp the stakes, we need Gnosticism and Greek tragedy... more »


Feb. 16, 2016 | Hemingway's published prose is muscular, energetic, lean, straightforward, his stories vivid and arresting. His letters are just plain dull... more »


Feb. 15, 2016 | Beware the ex-believer, the heretic, the zealous ideological convert. How their hothouse style shaped American politics... more »


Feb. 13, 2016 | To get inside the head of Shostakovich, a rampant musical individualist, should we turn to the realism of history or the imaginative offerings of fiction?... more »


Feb. 12, 2016 | In which a critic reacts to a book with such intense antipathy that he decides he must meet the author. "I wanted to understand who he is and why he wrote this”... more »


Feb. 11, 2016 | What makes “professional critics” professional? Life in the prose factory, it seems, is full of self-importance, resentment, and desperation... more »


Feb. 10, 2016 | With an army of Dadaists, nudists, and drug addicts, the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio attempted to liberate the city of Fiume. Things quickly devolved... more »


Feb. 9, 2016 | Authenticity and art. When it’s possible to create visually perfect reproductions of famous works, will we discard the originals, or celebrate them anew?... more »


Feb. 8, 2016 | On the wall behind Gore Vidal's desk were 20 or so framed magazine covers with his face on each one. At work, he said, “I like to be reminded who I am”... more »


Feb. 6, 2016 | Proust was among the first to recognize that the shock of air travel wasn’t technological but intellectual: a new way of processing the world, a new habit of mind... more »


Feb. 5, 2016 | Have we moved beyond Adam Smith and Jean-Jacques Rousseau? No, and nor should we. Their 18th-century debates are still our debates ... more »


Feb. 4, 2016 | War and Peace helped establish historical fiction but left open the genre's quandary: What's the right balance between history and fiction?... more »


Feb. 3, 2016 | Infinite Jest is 20 years old and shows its age. So why does the novel still feel so electrically alive? A few theories... more »


Feb. 2, 2016 | The identity museum has become so pervasive, its rules so rigid, that it's almost never commented upon. Then there are Jewish museums... more »


Feb. 1, 2016 | Haters and killjoys, sadists and masochists: Critics are sometimes appreciated but mostly feared, resented, or ignored. A.O. Scott should know... more »


Jan. 30, 2016 | It's rare for a book to both explain science and change it. Even rarer for that book to reach a wide audience. That's what Richard Dawkins did 40 years ago... more »


Jan. 29, 2016 | Do you have a theory of biography? What about this: "We are not texts. Our histories are not narratives. Life is not literature"... more »


Jan. 28, 2016 | In the summer of 1936, German émigré writers congregated on a beach in Belgium. They had nowhere else to go... more »


Jan. 27, 2016 | Beware the data based on multiple regression analyses. You’re quite likely to get no information, or misinformation... more »


Jan. 26, 2016 | "We go to our deaths asymptotically, never getting there because ‘we’ and ‘there’ can’t exist at the same moment"...... more »


Jan. 25, 2016 | Sociologists, political theorists, anthropologists, and psychologists promise to reveal the terrorist mind. None bring the insight of novelists... more »


Jan. 23, 2016 | John Dewey argued that publics never simply exist; they are created. Intellectuals should create the public for which they write. Few of them do... more »


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