Nov. 27, 2015 | Castro and the intellectuals. Why did so many American leftists embrace the Cuban revolution? It was a retreat into fantasy... more »


Nov. 26, 2015 | Have you forsaken the possibility of transcendence and settled for a life of safety and predictability? Blame Shakespeare and Freud... more »


Nov. 25, 2015 | When T.S. Eliot married Valerie Fletcher, he was nearly 70 and she was 30. Obscene poems followed. Explicitness, of course, is less erotic than suggestion... more »


Nov. 24, 2015 | Take it from a Cambridge-trained veterinarian: Evolution has made the lives of modern women a miserable swirl of moping about muffin tops. Oh, really?... more »


Nov. 23, 2015 | How to give. Ignore causes with which you have a personal connection. Give to charities that benefit the poorest people in the cheapest possible way... more »


Nov. 21, 2015 | Ancient Greece was replete with religion, but not the moral and metaphysical creeds we know. Greece was the birthplace of atheism... more »


Nov. 20, 2015 | At the age of 38, a slacker — a man of chat and gossip, not moral seriousness — become a great literary artist. The puzzle of Proust... more »


Nov. 19, 2015 | Despairing witness, acerbic book reviewer, passé novelist: Who was James Baldwin? No one speaks about him as fluently as he did... more »


Nov. 18, 2015 | The Romans combined military prowess and inclusive citizenship. If not a contemporary model, says Mary Beard, it does represent a challenge... more »


Nov. 17, 2015 | As a novelist, Marilynne Robinson writes with humility, avoiding dogma. As an essayist, she is a hectoring sermonizer... more »


Nov. 16, 2015 | Vladimir's ardor for Vera was undiminished for a half-century, though there was a lapse in 1937 — what Humbert called a "lethal delectation"... more »


Nov. 14, 2015 | Why do dogs poop facing north? Is mounting — a cushion, a leg — always a sign of sexual frustration? Do dogs experience guilt?... more »


Nov. 13, 2015 | What's the zeitgeist of the early 21st century? Misanthropy: We view ourselves as incapable of overcoming challenges. We have become unfree... more »


Nov. 12, 2015 | In the 18th century, a new kind of person appeared: the "man of feeling," who could empathize with strangers. This was a striking departure ... more »


Nov. 11, 2015 | The response to Timothy Snyder has been rapturous. Most of those cheering, however, are not historians of Nazism, Eastern Europe, or the Holocaust... more »


Nov. 10, 2015 | Edward Frenkel sees beauty in numbers, but his work is understood by only a few people. So the mathematician made an aestheticized pornographic snuff film... more »


Nov. 9, 2015 | Critics praise Room as a feminist novel (and now film) about motherhood. In fact, its message is “cynical and dangerous” ... more »


Nov. 7, 2015 | Stephen Spender lost his virginity to W.H. Auden: “Now, dear, don’t make a fuss.” Then Spender printed Auden's first collection of poetry... more »


Nov. 6, 2015 | Maybe Ezra Pound wasn't insane, but he was certainly delusional, paranoid, and megalomaniacal. His madness was destructive — and key to his genius... more »


Nov. 5, 2015 | Elizabeth Gilbert is out to sink the myth of the tortured artist. She has her own philosophy of creativity: "the Song of the Disciplined Half-Ass"... more »


Nov. 4, 2015 | Vladimir Nabokov never tired of writing to his wife. He addressed her as “Kittykin,” “poochums,” “mousikins,” “my beloved insecticle.” She rarely wrote back... more »


Nov. 3, 2015 | If you believe that “mindfulness” is a buzzword and “soul” refers to a fitness craze, then Sven Birkerts is the grievance-venting writer for you... more »


Nov. 2, 2015 | Don Quixote is a celebration of idealism. Or a warning that good intentions are not enough. It's a book that justifies any reading... more »


Oct. 31, 2015 | Urban renewal can be measured in what's lost: village-like neighborhoods, creativity, crime, serendipity, some poverty. Consider Paris... more »


Oct. 30, 2015 | Isaiah Berlin was drawn to those he disagreed with. "They uncover the cracks, the flaws, the places between the ribs where the dagger can successfully be inserted”... more »


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