April 1, 2015 | When, in 1967, Noam Chomsky said the responsibility of intellectuals was to ?expose the lies of governments,' it was a minority view. Now it's de rigueur... more »

March 31, 2015 | Orwell was 35 when he suffered his first bout; Camus was 17. Tuberculosis was one thing to discuss had they met in Paris, as planned, in February 1945... more »

March 30, 2015 | 'I am ashamed of being in a university,' said Lionel Trilling. 'I have one of the great reputations in the academic world. This thought makes me retch?... more »

March 28, 2015 | Since 1976, Philip Glass has composed 10 symphonies and six string quartets ? all excruciatingly boring. But no one should doubt his historical significance... more »

March 27, 2015 | Hannah Arendt's guide to thinking: Ignore disciplinary and methodological boundaries; discard the insidious notion that insight is quantifiable.... more »

March 26, 2015 | Eric Hobsbawm's MI5 file contains 1,000 or so pages, collated chronologically in folders that run from 1942 to 1963. He was classified as a ?Category A? Communist... more »

March 25, 2015 | Clive James no longer has the energy to write long pieces. Poetry is his main event now, and he makes it seem like the most exciting thing in the world... more »

March 24, 2015 | We expect certain academics, like English professors, to love what they teach. Do we also expect them to sacrifice a good living for the pleasure?... more »

March 23, 2015 | How to succeed as an Indian writer: Write about India, but in English and for the West. 'It is a shameful experience; it produces feelings of irrelevance and inauthenticity?... more »

March 21, 2015 | The bard of Madison Ave. L.E. Sissman ? poet, critic, advertising executive ? had an ?amiable, attentive intelligence,' according to John Updike. Sissman's muse: the office... more »

March 20, 2015 | ?i?ek ad nauseam. Same jokes, same provocations, an endless loop of ?new? books: He is a philosophic iPod shuffle... more »

March 19, 2015 | Frustration and desperation are the lot of most writers. Even the lucky ones endure lean years. But few things are so compromising as success... more »

March 18, 2015 | When did difficulty become suspect in American culture? The ideal of seriousness was never widely shared, but it used to be seen as worth striving for... more »

March 17, 2015 | Dear pedantic grammarians: Your rules are just stylistic conventions. We'll split an infinitive or end a sentence with a preposition anytime we want to... more »

March 16, 2015 | ?For the most part, M.F.A. students who choose to write memoirs are narcissists using the genre as therapy.' But candor is no excuse for incompetence... more »

March 14, 2015 | Todd Gitlin to trigger-warning advocates: Universities are not fallout shelters. You?re at college to be disturbed. Deal with it... more »

March 13, 2015 | How did the man who invented the comedic monologue ? who defined celebrity in the age of celebrity ? disappear so effectively from American consciousness?... more »

March 12, 2015 | If belief in God means nothing to you, why proselytize one way or another? John Gray on the strange nature of evangelical atheism... more »

March 11, 2015 | Attention is a finite resource. Everywhere it is harvested by advertisers. Searching for silence amid the cacophony of commerce? Good luck with that... more »

March 10, 2015 | When Bernard Williams saw that a philosopher had stopped doing serious work and was merely pontificating, he didn't hesitate to bring down the hammer. ... more »

March 9, 2015 | Universities have become businesses, and businesses now generate knowledge and culture. In such a world, what's the role of the writer?... more »

March 7, 2015 | Postal utopia. Early in the 20th century, three thinkers ? Twain, Lenin, Weber ? shared a model of paradise: the German post office... more »

March 6, 2015 | Theologically, the most interesting place today is Silicon Valley, says Yuval Noah Hariri. Its religion, not the ones coming out of Syria and Iraq, will take over the world... more »

March 5, 2015 | The theological disclosures of Augustine and the earnestness of De Quincey have given way to a petty, low-stakes literature. Confession has been commodified... more »

March 4, 2015 | Philology: How did this dry but wonderfully eccentric redoubt of intellectual curiosity acquire a reputation for being largely pointless?... more »

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