Dec. 12, 2019 | A biographical dilemma. A new book purports to explain how Rembrandt became Rembrandt. But there’s so little new evidence to build on... more »


Dec. 11, 2019 | Nabokov enjoyed knockout punches — both in boxing, where he took them, and in criticism, where he landed them... more »


Dec. 10, 2019 | Imagine what life was like 245 million years ago. Hard, isn’t it? Forget fossils — the world of dinosaurs is inherently unfathomable to us... more »


Dec. 9, 2019 | As any pet owner can attest, animals do communicate. But do they have languages? Do mating dances, alarm calls, and meows have a grammar?... more »


Dec. 7, 2019 | The genius of Philip Larkin’s poetry was his gift for somehow sublimating our appreciation of life by amplifying its ordinariness... more »


Dec. 6, 2019 | Who was Edison? To his employees, an Ubermensch; to his investors, a fantasist; to his rivals, a publicity whore; to his family, a stranger... more »


Dec. 5, 2019 | Not her sister’s keeper. Mary-Kay Wilmers is exacting and suspicious of didacticism, especially where feminism is involved... more »


Dec. 4, 2019 | What you think of religion largely depends on what you think is religion. Stephen Asma has been changing his mind... more »


Dec. 3, 2019 | “Historians of ideas were the least useful kind of historians,” held Isaiah Berlin. But there was one exception: Lewis Namier... more »


Dec. 2, 2019 | As America’s identity wars go on, the combatants forget a simple truth: Holier-than-thou-ism is as old as the country itself... more »


Nov. 30, 2019 | For 176 years, The Economist has been the ur-magazine of Anglophone liberalism. Can it survive an illiberal era?... more »


Nov. 29, 2019 | The unbearable loneliness of the concert pianist. Applause, green room, hotel room, taxi, airport lounge. Reprise, repeat... more »


Nov. 28, 2019 | Horrified by campus debauchery, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia to aim higher. But it quickly became a training ground for “young despots”... more »


Nov. 27, 2019 | Few architects have been studied more thoroughly than Frank Lloyd Wright. The problem isn't a lack of material. It's a lack of answers... more »


Nov. 26, 2019 | The Epicurean life has a serious side. Hedonists cultivate a practical, prudent way of taking their pleasures... more »


Nov. 25, 2019 | Jared Diamond's new book is a sustained but misleading metaphor. His giant category error: that nation-states behave like individual humans... more »


Nov. 23, 2019 | Ibram Kendi is here to teach you how to be antiracist. His book has the tone of a fundamentalist sermon. Andrew Sullivan is having none of it... more »


Nov. 22, 2019 | What is real? How should one live? What government is best? Why do the good suffer and the evil prosper? Philosophy is ever-changing and never-ending... more »


Nov. 21, 2019 | For their coiled, angry masculinity, D.H. Lawrence's essays are indefensible. For their sweep and immaculate style, they are unforgettable... more »


Nov. 20, 2019 | “Puritan” was at first a spiteful nickname for those who were not purer than others but were seen as thinking of themselves that way... more »


Nov. 19, 2019 | James Wood’s transformation: Once fizzing with aphoristic insights, he now writes more carefully, often of aging, exile, and emotion... more »


Nov. 18, 2019 | When Elaine Stritch was called “iconic," she'd get exasperated. “Let’s all level and tell each other what ‘iconic’ means,” she'd say. “It’s a mouthwash!”... more »


Nov. 16, 2019 | Chaucer’s family was proud of him. But did he really have to wear a tunic so short that it exposed his loins, in red-and-black hosiery?... more »


Nov. 15, 2019 | “I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child,” wrote Nabokov. So are his interviews at all worthwhile?... more »


Nov. 14, 2019 | When Wittgenstein went to war, the gossip machine quickly determined that he was a burnt-out wreck and a disgrace to the field... more »


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