Aug. 15, 2018 | Kant believed that beautiful art “must always show a certain dignity in itself.” Alfred Brendel disagrees. He believes in musical jokes ... more »


Aug. 14, 2018 | “Relevant” is one of the great nonsense words in art, says Jay Nordlinger. The best art doesn't speak to our time. It speaks for all time... more »


Aug. 13, 2018 | Among the Leonardo loonies. How a strange subculture of da Vinci obsessives creates elaborate, unsubstantiated theories to explain him... more »


Aug. 11, 2018 | Choosing what to read takes time and effort and often results in disappointment. Do yourself a favor: Ditch the best-seller list. Read old books instead... more »


Aug. 10, 2018 | "Anyone ambitious who lives to be old or even old endures the inevitable loss of ambition’s fulfillment." Donald Hall on life at 90... more »


Aug. 9, 2018 | We've become indifferent to memory, allergic to tradition. Truth has been eclipsed by useful knowledge. Technocracy reigns, humanism wanes. Deep thoughts with Ross Douthat... more »


Aug. 8, 2018 | The life of the mind has been overtaken by the imperatives of advertising. Welcome to the era of the promotional intellectual ... more »


Aug. 7, 2018 | Anger and tenderness. Adrienne Rich wrote little while raising her three sons, but the experience changed her: “Motherhood radicalized me”... more »


Aug. 6, 2018 | Happy endings are rare in literary fiction. Instead we get bleak plots and pervasive pessimism. Can we really say literature is good for us?... more »


Aug. 4, 2018 | Reading Lolita in the age of #MeToo. The book never pardons us for the sin of participating in it. The revulsion is why it endures. Caitlin Flanagan explains... more »


Aug. 3, 2018 | Learning French has been likened to joining a gang. Both involve "a long and intensive period of hazing.” Why bother? It forces you to rethink your approach to language itself... more »


Aug. 2, 2018 | We used to reach for metaphors, idioms, and images to convey abstract ideas, says Steven Pinker. Now our prose is more efficient, but more lifeless... more »


Aug. 1, 2018 | The cult of Evelyn Waugh included Graham Greene and Kingsley Amis. The modern Waughian wears tweed, rides a bike, and, most likely, blogs... more »


July 31, 2018 | Russia came early to the idea that "the people" carry the moral solution to the world’s ills. These populists, fueled by a guilty idealism, failed utterly... more »


July 30, 2018 | Peter Berger did as much as anyone to illuminate the place of religion in the modern world. He was more opaque about his own religious identity... more »


July 28, 2018 | If art can do harm -- and it can -- it can also do good. If it’s beautiful enough or moving enough or original enough, maybe it can even atone for the sins of the artist... more »


July 27, 2018 | Charles Mills is sensitive to the weaknesses and limitations of liberal political theory. His critique is a reckoning, and an effort to save liberalism... more »


July 26, 2018 | Diogenes Laertius may have been a flaming mediocrity, but he deserves our admiration: He's our best source on ancient philosophy ... more »


July 25, 2018 | An unfortunate side effect of democracy is that it incentivizes ignorance, irrationality, and tribalism. So says Jason Brennan. He has a cure: epistocracy... more »


July 24, 2018 | Extremism is too often seen as a foreign threat — an infection from an alien civilization. As Hannah Arendt knew, it grows out of a local problem: loneliness... more »


July 23, 2018 | What is it like to be a man? We talk plenty about masculinity, but the topic resists straightforward discussion — even as men suck the air from every other conversation... more »


July 21, 2018 | How is it that the gray mush inside our skulls can produce "hopes, fears, and dreams"? It's the sort of question that animates a lot of useless agonizing... more »


July 20, 2018 | "Disrespecting your ideological predecessors is something of a sport in modern American feminism, and it reaches varsity level when it comes to criticizing the second wave"... more »


July 19, 2018 | They cost 99 cents and depict glistening shirtless men. Romance e-books might seem frivolous, but the controversy over Her Cocky Doctors is anything but... more »


July 18, 2018 | Writers and even academic institutes are celebrating the mystical power of psychedelics. The enthusiasm is based more on hope than on scientific evidence... more »


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