Nov. 27, 2021 | What did Stalin have in common with John Updike, Pablo Escobar, and Vladimir Nabokov? The intense discomfort of psoriasis... more »


Nov. 26, 2021 | Judaism, Kabbalah, Zen, the poems of Federico García Lorca: The mystical roots of Leonard Cohen... more »


Nov. 25, 2021 | "Writing is a very daunting activity and it will not make you happy,” said Elizabeth Hardwick. But happiness isn't the point ... more »


Nov. 24, 2021 | If genetic differences divide us, can we craft plausible interventions that might unite us? Kathryn Paige Harden thinks so ... more »


Nov. 23, 2021 | Speculative science fiction and “autofiction” dominate the literary culture. What we need is a resurgence of Balzacian sensibility... more »


Nov. 21, 2021 | When Picasso ended their long, vexed relationship, Dora Maar became a devout Catholic: “After Picasso, there is only God”... more »


Nov. 20, 2021 | Salvador Dalí was a showman; René Magritte was subtler, more cunning in the way he made his life into art ... more »


Nov. 19, 2021 | As a critic, Elizabeth Hardwick’s success was destiny. Her tumultuous marriage, however, was the great choice of her life  ... more »


Nov. 18, 2021 | What makes a racial group “real”? Jay Caspian Kang questions the authenticity of Asian Americanness ... more »


Nov. 17, 2021 | The library and its enemies. Books have everywhere and always been lost, stolen, vandalized, set afire, even deliberately bombed ... more »


Nov. 16, 2021 | W.G. Sebald was canonized quickly in the Anglophone literary world, but something seems off in his rapid ascent... more »


Nov. 15, 2021 | “Saying that racism is the fundamental fact of U.S. history will not supply a political strategy for the present”... more »


Nov. 13, 2021 | Hunter S. Thompson was many things, not least a drug-addled gun enthusiast and a fabulist. He was also a colossal jerk ... more »


Nov. 12, 2021 | To E.O. Wilson, James Watson is “the Caligula of biology.” To Watson, Wilson is a mere stamp collector... more »


Nov. 11, 2021 | "Postmodernism may be a historical fact, but it finds history itself a bore," says Terry Eagleton. "The past is simply a collection of styles to be recycled” ... more »


Nov. 10, 2021 | Everyone perceives color slightly differently — “a dance between subjects and objects, mind and matter” ... more »


Nov. 9, 2021 | “Obviously, all biographies are false," said Czeslaw Milosz. What would the exiled poet make of a new account of his life in California?... more »


Nov. 8, 2021 | For all D.H. Lawrence’s hateful misogyny, racism, and plain bad temper, there is something in his work that stays urgent and alive ... more »


Nov. 6, 2021 | Elizabeth Hardwick deplored biography as merely a “scrupulous accounting of time.” Does her own biography transcend that?   ... more »


Nov. 5, 2021 | Moll Cutpurse, who ran a criminal empire in 1600s London, was an early "queen of the underworld" ... more »


Nov. 4, 2021 | Ethical statements have no objective truth and are thus subjective. So went the prevailing Oxford moral philosophy of the 1930s and '40s... more »


Nov. 3, 2021 | One by one, major philosophers, physicists, and neuroscientists take on the hard problem of consciousness — and fail. Antonio Damasio is the latest   ... more »


Nov. 2, 2021 | René Magritte was a practical joker and occasional miscreant. He was also, perhaps, a little mad   ... more »


Nov. 1, 2021 | Greasepaint, face powder, new clothes, cold cream: Noël Coward noted every grubby particular of life in the theater... more »


Oct. 30, 2021 | The flight from meritocracy. Yes, it entrenches elites and inequality. But the alternatives are worse... more »


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