Sept. 29, 2018 | The demise of the Village Voice underscores the end of Greenwich Village bohemia — which invites a question about the beginning... more »

Sept. 28, 2018 | Banned Book Week is upon us. Does this annual orgy of inaccuracy, overstatement, and self-righteousness serve any purpose? Yes... more »

Sept. 27, 2018 | For some students, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is their introduction to what it means to think historically. It is a work of unalloyed certainty — and danger... more »

Sept. 26, 2018 | Does Ian Buruma's abrupt departure from the New York Review of Books mean that editors will be reluctant to take risks? Laura Kipnis is concerned... more »

Sept. 25, 2018 | Requiem for the Gutenberg mind. The cognitive virtues of reading on paper have developed over centuries. But now the practice is in its last gasp... more »

Sept. 24, 2018 | Books just keep getting longer. We conflate physical heft with artistic or intellectual merit. Thus our new golden age of the doorstop... more »

Sept. 22, 2018 | As a genre, horror has been with us since cave paintings. Why? It speaks to the darkness that haunts the human condition... more »

Sept. 21, 2018 | For Elizabeth Bishop, solitude was bliss. It meant comfort, adventure, and jaunts around “the islands of the Imagination”... more »

Sept. 20, 2018 | The death of the celebrity profile. It’s been supplanted by Instagram and the first-person essays of the famous. The loss to public culture is real... more »

Sept. 19, 2018 | Remembering the Village Voice. Drugs were delivered to the office, writers stabbed one another in the back, headlocks were occasionally employed... more »

Sept. 18, 2018 | An accursed genre of personal essay has now emerged: “My Year of Being Held Responsible for My Own Behavior”... more »

Sept. 17, 2018 | Maeve Brennan had lost it. She was sleeping next to a bathroom at The New Yorker and was giving away her money. All William Shawn would say was, “She’s a beautiful writer”... more »

Sept. 15, 2018 | When we are young, we are taught that art comes from lofty places — the pursuit of truth, beauty, sublimity. Nonsense. It comes from antipathy, insecurity, jealousy... more »

Sept. 14, 2018 | Literary biography is a strange addiction. Reading a life is like reading a poem — full of ambiguity. This is rarely truer than in the case of Pablo Neruda... more »

Sept. 13, 2018 | “Please be kind to Muriel.” A love affair gone wrong, intimate letters leaked — blackmail and betrayal hovered over both Muriel Spark’s fiction and her life... more »

Sept. 12, 2018 | The number of scientists is growing at a faster rate than the human population. Why haven't more scientists produced more discoveries?... more »

Sept. 11, 2018 | The aphorism is rhetorical algebra, an elevated and ambitious format. Too bad the genre’s current state is one of disgrace... more »

Sept. 10, 2018 | 1968 and the fate of radical protest. The counterculture evaporated into New Age bromides and identity politics. But the core of resistance never entirely disappeared... more »

Sept. 8, 2018 | Higher education has historically been a bulwark against authoritarianism — or its pawn. What will it be this time?... more »

Sept. 7, 2018 | Piero Manzoni’s 1961 work, “Artist’s Shit,” featured 90 small, sealed tins. After they exploded in market value, poor autoclaving produced some literal explosions... more »

Sept. 6, 2018 | Self-help and the apostles of positivity. Why do we demand the most conspicuous happiness from people with the greatest reason to be unhappy?... more »

Sept. 5, 2018 | Modernism and the middle class once ruled the art world. No longer. The firewall between art and money has been abandoned... more »

Sept. 4, 2018 | Immortality can sound appealing, but what would it really entail? Tedium and banality — like being trapped in a never-ending cocktail party ... more »

Sept. 3, 2018 | “Art, it seems to me, should simplify.” So explained Willa Cather, who, through uncompromising effort, wrote the Great American Novel... more »

Sept. 1, 2018 | When genuine criticism is undertaken at the risk of ostracism, marginalization, retribution — this is where abuses like Avital Ronell’s grow like moss, or mold... more »

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