Jan. 31, 2017 | Vinyl-record sales are up and creative types cling to their Moleskines. What if the benefits of digitizing everything turn out to be drawbacks?... more »


Jan. 30, 2017 | Jane Austen's juvenilia. She was bawdy at 14, indulging in lewd intimations and poor taste, and hinting at the sharp irony to come... more »


Jan. 28, 2017 | The penny post, the telegram, email -- all were predicted to be the death of letter writing. Elizabeth Bishop and Philip Larkin shared this anxiety, but their correspondence debunks it... more »


Jan. 27, 2017 | Life as the daughter of Kenneth Tynan was never normal. Turning 21 was marked by lines of coke and a screening of Deep Throat arranged by Sammy Davis Jr.... more »


Jan. 26, 2017 | Step aside, Charlotte. Out of the way, Emily. Time for Anne Brontë, the youngest sister, who left behind two novels and five letters, to get her due... more »


Jan. 25, 2017 | "The baton and jackboot." The transformation of German and Austrian orchestras into instruments of Nazi power actually began before Hitler... more »


Jan. 24, 2017 | For Victorians, their literature reflected the triumph of the British Empire. For African-Americans, Victorian literature was an unlikely source of inspiration... more »


Jan. 23, 2017 | Pankaj Mishra has taken on an enormous task: explaining the modern world. But in trying to write about everything, he ends up writing about nothing... more »


Jan. 21, 2017 | In what way, exactly, is pop music popular? Successful songs may be covered again and again, but even the biggest hits inevitably fade... more »


Jan. 20, 2017 | An anti-systematizer in an age of grand theories, Alexander Herzen was once as famous as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, but died in relative obscurity... more »


Jan. 19, 2017 | What's the relationship between fact and fiction in Jane Austen's novels? Janeites take pride in discovering “truths," but Austen was fond of fabrication... more »


Jan. 18, 2017 | Is psychology the key to understanding the politics of resentment, antagonism, and self-contradiction? Pankaj Mishra enjoins us to revisit Rousseau, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche... more »


Jan. 17, 2017 | How did Wallace Stevens, who lived an excruciatingly mundane and superficial life, write some of the most inventive poetry of the 20th century?... more »


Jan. 16, 2017 | Freud and women, Freud the clinician, Freud with his cigars, Freud and cocaine: Despite the vast materials by and about him, or perhaps because of them, we still don't know who Freud really was... more »


Jan. 14, 2017 | Utilitarianism and other abstract theories promise elegant solutions to life’s challenges. But difficult decisions are part of what makes ethical thought ethical... more »


Jan. 13, 2017 | To read Bernard-Henri Levy is to read about Bernard-Henri Levy as told by Bernard-Henri Levy. Now he's gone in search of the "Jewish thread" of his life. Prepare for vain excess... more »


Jan. 12, 2017 | Two cultures of women’s writing rarely mix: the lofty abstractions of Virginia Woolf and the vulgar, popular approach of Cosmopolitan. Enter Elena Ferrante... more »


Jan. 11, 2017 | When Willem de Kooning heard of Jackson Pollock’s death, he celebrated: “I’m number one.” Why do some artistic relationships nourish artists, while others tear them apart?... more »


Jan. 10, 2017 | Barney Rosset began writing a memoir in 1987. Over the years, 20 people worked on it. Result: It’s unclear not only who wrote the book, but even who it’s about... more »


Jan. 9, 2017 | With three hearts pumping blue-green blood, eight tentacles, kaleidoscopic skin, and half a billion neurons, the octopus is a distinct experiment in the evolution of the mind... more »


Jan. 7, 2017 | His name is synonymous with seduction and charm. His life was a nonstop, transcontinental parade of fornication. Why was Casanova so horny?... more »


Jan. 6, 2017 | Thanks to the CIA, the Cold War's so-called “free market of ideas” was hardly free. But weaponizing ideas is a tricky business... more »


Jan. 5, 2017 | P. G. Wodehouse was no stranger to the joys of booze. He developed his own euphemisms -- “tanked to the uvula” -- and a taxonomy of the six varieties of hangover... more »


Jan. 4, 2017 | Jonathan Swift's underwear. He anticipated anti-consumerism, anti-makeup feminism, and animal rights. He was also ahead of his time on matters of personal hygiene... more »


Jan. 3, 2017 | Sometimes the point of a sentence is to jar, sting, or offend. In that case, nothing performs quite like profanity. So why use a euphemism?... more »


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