Oct. 26, 2016 | Complaining has become an art form, a way of life, and, for the Tate Modern, a bizarre and misguided strategy for "community engagement" ... more »


Oct. 25, 2016 | Ancient Rome was gripped by a mania for public displays of reading. Wealthy Romans felt the need to boast of their intellect to the world. Some things never change... more »


Oct. 24, 2016 | Flaubert sat in a room above the Seine, writing 14 hours a day. His life is a study in the unrelenting misery of composition ... more »


Oct. 22, 2016 | How science fiction got the future wrong. Great-power rivalry, demographic collapse, mass migration have been absent from futurist literature... more »


Oct. 21, 2016 | What's it like to be a chimpanzee? The strange new science of gauging not only animals' intelligence but also their inner experience... more »


Oct. 20, 2016 | From bats to algorithms to aliens: Can we ever understand consciousness in a form radically different from our own? The question was a challenge to Wittgenstein, Nagel, Chalmers... more »


Oct. 19, 2016 | "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Bull. Will Self explains the romance delusion... more »


Oct. 18, 2016 | In the 1960s, Ramparts brought muckraking back into vogue. At the helm was Warren Hinckle, one-eyed with a capuchin monkey named Henry Luce on his shoulder... more »


Oct. 17, 2016 | What was Dada? A school that embraced paradox, chance, irony, and humor. It sought to free people from the insanity of the times... more »


Oct. 15, 2016 | Jargon, mangled diction, meaningless phrases, hackneyed words — such are the writerly sins of academics, who must question their deepest assumptions about writing... more »


Oct. 14, 2016 | The future won’t be decided by all of humanity, united under the banner of liberalism. It will be haphazard, and just as purposeless as the past... more »


Oct. 13, 2016 | From the painter Thomas Kinkade’s cozy little cottages to the flowerbeds of Mary Oliver’s poetry, sentimentality is a plague for art — Christian art in particular... more »


Oct. 12, 2016 | For Robert Penn Warren, the civic work of poetry was the weighty job of rejecting stereotypes and writing for a democratic audience... more »


Oct. 11, 2016 | In defense of comic literature. A line of thought extends from Hamlet to Leopold Bloom to Herzog and beyond: Comedy sets us free... more »


Oct. 10, 2016 | Learning from John Cage means listening not just to his work but also to the world through his sensibility... more »


Oct. 8, 2016 | When, like Faust, we despair at the limitations of human knowledge, another path opens. Experience, in the Emersonian sense, can show the way to transcendence... more »


Oct. 7, 2016 | The art and artifice of the poetic pilgrimage. Can seeing Shakespeare’s First Folio or Dickinson’s house in Amherst bring a reader closer to the work itself?... more »


Oct. 6, 2016 | Beyond self-evident. In a time of Lockean philosophy and trompe-l’oeil art, America’s founders embraced doubt and ambiguity. Was their stance a weakness?... more »


Oct. 5, 2016 | The Marquis de Sade as your guide to the modern office? His 120 Days of Sodom explains it all: hierarchy, accounting, bonuses, boredom... more »


Oct. 4, 2016 | Inside the nonsense machine. ?i?ek’s ideas are repellent, argues Roger Scruton. Behind the slick, occasionally persuasive writing lie “little pellets of poison”... more »


Oct. 3, 2016 | Where deconstruction came from. Americans blame French theorists, like Derrida, for the idea. Its rise, however, is an American story... more »


Oct. 1, 2016 | Poems are inefficient by design, like taking a long walk. That’s why a society that celebrates efficiency, profit maximization, and productivity needs them... more »


Sept. 30, 2016 | The notion of time travel beguiled Bertrand Russell, Kurt Gödel, and Stephen Hawking. Has any idea produced more convoluted and futile philosophical analysis?... more »


Sept. 29, 2016 | Philosopher problems. “All we do is gloss each other,” complained Montaigne in the 16th century. Since then the field’s issues have only worsened... more »


Sept. 28, 2016 | There's long been a vexed relationship between flesh and thought. We stubbornly cling to the hope of transcending the former to achieve a higher state of the latter   ... more »


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