July 4, 2020 | The bunker is one of the oldest building types made by humans, dating to around 1200 BC. Its dark charisma endures... more »


July 3, 2020 | All is not minimalism. According to Kyle Chayka’s recent book, Duchamp, Wittgenstein, and Marx all inform modern minimalist lifestyles. Not quite... more »


July 2, 2020 | Why do people swim? "To witness metamorphosis, in our environment, in ourselves. To swim is to accept all the myriad conditions of life"... more »


July 1, 2020 | The scientist J.B.S. Haldane is best remembered as an example of how someone so smart can be so dumb when enthralled by ideology... more »


June 30, 2020 | How to be alone. Solitude is not about alienation, isolation, or even physical surroundings. It's a state of mind... more »


June 29, 2020 | Innovation is prized but misunderstood. We don't how it happens or how to nurture it. We can't even agree on what it is... more »


June 27, 2020 | Driverless cars are not primarily about saving lives. They are about eliminating contingency and replacing it with machine-generated certainty. That's terrifying... more »


June 26, 2020 | All shall be saved. Hell is a vestige of Christendom, not of Christianity itself. David Bentley Hart explains... more »


June 25, 2020 | For Patricia Churchland, conscience is rooted in evolutionary biology; moral choices are explained away by neuroscience. Raymond Tallis isn’t buying it... more »


June 24, 2020 | After years of correspondence, Thomas Wentworth Higginson finally met Emily Dickinson, who promptly unleashed — in a torrent — a literary manifesto... more »


June 23, 2020 | Being Kierkegaardian precludes any dutiful fealty to Kierkegaard himself. Unfortunately, a new book misses this point... more »


June 22, 2020 | Longfellow’s ode to Fanny Appleton was not welcome: “It is desultory, objectless, a thing of shreds and patches,” she said. They married four years later... more »


June 20, 2020 | Military overreach, excessive spending and taxation, the rise of Christianity: many explanations for the fall of Rome. Was a pandemic to blame?... more »


June 19, 2020 | The race for domination in publishing Trump tell-alls is between Simon & Schuster and Henry Holt. For now, Simon & Schuster is winning... more »


June 18, 2020 | For Deirdre Bair, being Beckett’s biographer entailed exhausting hours spent on bar stools, keeping out of the reach of drunken Irish poets and professors... more »


June 17, 2020 | Frida Kahlo's years in Paris were a high point of her life. She spent much of her time conveying disdain for French culture... more »


June 16, 2020 | In 1911 Einstein moved to Prague, becoming part of an intellectual milieu that would influence Central Europe for decades to come... more »


June 15, 2020 | “I’ve argued that humans have evolved to be fundamentally sociable creatures.” Apparently that passes for a bold claim these days... more »


June 13, 2020 | How can a 976-page biography of Warhol fail to contain a single fresh idea? Gary Indiana on an “incredibly prolonged, masturbatory trance of graphomania”... more »


June 12, 2020 | Gulch, hankering, woolypates, foofoo, squaw: Behold the promiscuous range of Walt Whitman’s vocabulary... more »


June 11, 2020 | “It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil,” wrote Keynes. But his own story points to ideas' limited power... more »


June 10, 2020 | “Origins and Entropy,” “Particles and Consciousness,” “Duration and Impermanence": How pop science became metaphysical self-help... more »


June 9, 2020 | When Mary Bunting created an institute for high-achieving women, she knew she had to provide them with the material support that would allow them to succeed... more »


June 8, 2020 | For James Wood, critics must always answer one fundamental question: “What’s at stake in this passage?”... more »


June 6, 2020 | Reading lists won’t save us. Viral syllabi purport to answer our thorniest problems, but no matter how expertly curated, the reading itself is what matters... more »


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