Oct. 27, 2020 | A new biography of Lucian Freud withholds gossip into “private affairs.” That’s a shame — Freud’s private affairs propelled his art   ... more »


Oct. 26, 2020 | Intellectual detours are key to learning, and the ability to take them is a skill to nurture  ... more »


Oct. 24, 2020 | Jew, poet, homosexual, painter, punster, novelist, critic, palm-reader, ether-addict, Kabbalist, Catholic: Who was Max Jacob?  ... more »


Oct. 23, 2020 | “Dickens is infinitely greater than his critics,” John Carey wrote. But not necessarily wiser... more »


Oct. 22, 2020 | The maddening Martin Amis. He denounces authors’ asides into dreams, sex, and religion… and then commits those very novelistic sins  ... more »


Oct. 21, 2020 | The voice of The Atlantic is authoritative, high-minded, empirical — and, once you’ve heard it enough, utterly tedious ... more »


Oct. 20, 2020 | The history of knowledge and its enemies was best summed up by Heinrich Heine: “Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings” ... more »


Oct. 19, 2020 | Alexis de Tocqueville mastered many styles. He could be romantic, clever, or ruthlessly withering... more »


Oct. 17, 2020 | His legacy may be oppressive factory work, but in 1914 Henry Ford also gave America the $5 work day: “Social justice begins at home,” the company said  ... more »


Oct. 16, 2020 | “Some, though not much, poetic force.” “Great imitative power.” “Not quite a Tintoretto of verse.” Longfellow’s contemporaries were unimpressed  ... more »


Oct. 15, 2020 | The decade between World War I and the Great Depression featured intense intellectual creativity. Was this German philosophy's last great moment? ... more »


Oct. 14, 2020 | It's always been hard to make a living as an artist. But has the aspiration essentially become obsolete?  ... more »


Oct. 13, 2020 | The 2020 intellectual situation: The politics of consumerism, and of grievance, have overwhelmed the politics of unity and responsibility  ... more »


Oct. 12, 2020 | "If you are reading this, you are very probably WEIRD," says Daniel Dennett. “But we are outliers on many psychological measures"  ... more »


Oct. 10, 2020 | John Steinbeck did not take feedback well. He scorned the Pulitzer and the Nobel. And criticism sent him into a rage... more »


Oct. 9, 2020 | Portrait painters live to please, Dr. Johnson said, and must please to live. Goya was not like that ... more »


Oct. 8, 2020 | Kafka, unfinished. To see the author as he was, turn to a new collection of his fragments... more »


Oct. 7, 2020 | Richard Hofstadter has entered the pantheon as a status-quo-defending liberal. But what of his radical roots?... more »


Oct. 6, 2020 | The knock on Derrida was that he was a peddler of gimmicks. He never shook the fear that those who saw him as a charlatan were right... more »


Oct. 5, 2020 | The 18th century brought an end to the age of the polymath. Specialization made it both more challenging and more important to seek holistic knowledge  ... more »


Oct. 3, 2020 | Is there such a thing as "the Viking Mind," a shared sensibility and worldview that emanated from medieval Scandinavia?  ... more »


Oct. 2, 2020 | For John Steinbeck, individuals revealed little of humanity. Our true nature could only be grasped in the plural — by groups and phalanxes   ... more »


Oct. 1, 2020 | Is there a better parodist and pasticheur alive than Tom Stoppard? But is he an artistic parasite? Hardly... more »


Sept. 30, 2020 | What was it about Nazi ideology, at least early on, that appealed to Germans? Its vagueness. People saw what they wanted to see... more »


Sept. 29, 2020 | The monstrosity at the heart of modern science. To get to the top requires “a degree of single-mindedness that is quite inhuman”  ... more »


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