June 3, 2015 | The closing of the French mind. Its way of thought has never quite recovered from the end of Communism and the fading of structuralism... more »

June 2, 2015 | Dave Hickey has a gift for unfashionable subjects, like Las Vegas and Liberace. An art critic of sorts, he’s also one of our best writers... more »

June 1, 2015 | In the 1950s, T.S. Eliot’s critical judgments were largely sacrosanct. By the 1980s, Harold Bloom had made a revolution in literary taste... more »

May 30, 2015 | The many myths of Alfred Hitchcock. Incarcerated at 4, beaten by Jesuits, left outside during a bombing raid: His trauma was part branding strategy... more »

May 29, 2015 | From 1948 to 1960, Nabokov wrote parts of Lolita, Pnin, and Speak, Memory. He was a writer transformed – an American, no longer a European aesthete... more »

May 28, 2015 | Bertrand Russell said that he feared argument with John Maynard Keynes, likening it to taking his life in his own hands. Keynes was ruthless, especially toward fellow academics.... more »

May 27, 2015 | Buckley once called Mailer a "moral pervert." Then they became friends, close enough for Buckley's wife to call Mailer Chooky Bah Lamb... more »

May 26, 2015 | In Putin's Russia, Stalin apologists are on the rise. "Strong leader," "effective manager," "benevolent dictator": Behold the whitewashing of a tyrant... more »

May 25, 2015 | To force men into utopia is barbarism, said Irving Howe. But the image of utopia keeps imagination alive ... more »

May 23, 2015 | In 1623 a London printer produced 750 copies of a 900-page collection of Shakespeare's plays. Centuries later the book became Henry Folger's white whale... more »

May 22, 2015 | We are born sinners: The belief has shaped our world. Has the feel-good religion of evangelism silenced the doctrine of original sin?... more »

May 21, 2015 | An orgy of self-fashioning. To become Tristan Tzara, Samuel Rosenstock left Romania, performed cabaret, and took up public relations... more »

May 20, 2015 | Helen Vendler, 82, has seen theories of literature come and go. She's immune to doctrines of taste, stubbornly idiosyncratic and unsystematic... more »

May 19, 2015 | Raymond Williams is the reason college students study Beyoncé as well as Beethoven. He also developed proto-digital humanities... more »

May 18, 2015 | The death of Vladimir Mayakovsky. In 1930 the poet shot himself with a gun provided by Stalin's secret police. Cause of death? Artistic frustration... more »

May 16, 2015 | A tale of two Marys. Wollstonecraft, the radical polemicist, and Shelley, her daughter, a coldhearted writer and member of the “league of incest”... more »

May 15, 2015 | Looking back at his philosophy dissertation 46 years later, T.S. Eliot was flummoxed. “I do not pretend to understand it”... more »

May 14, 2015 | Algeria, India, Israel: In each place, the triumph of secular revolutions ironically helped pave the way for religious revivals ... more »

May 13, 2015 | Explanations for the rise of global capitalism read like a shopping list of commodities: grease, coal, sugar, cotton... more »

May 12, 2015 | Good science arrived late. The modern techniques — observational testing, theory building — emerged in the 16th century. What took so long?... more »

May 11, 2015 | Born poor, with a clubfoot and a limp, Joseph Goebbels kept a diary that reveals an insecure man in nagging need of attention... more »

May 9, 2015 | Fending off the siege of loneliness. For Vivian Gornick, the city is a refuge. “The street keeps moving, and you’ve got to love the movement”... more »

May 8, 2015 | By 1914, Edward Thomas had written 20 books and 1,900 reviews – one every three days for 14 years. Some of it was the finest criticism of his generation... more »

May 7, 2015 | Dreaming on foot. In the fall of 1974, Werner Herzog set off on a 600-mile walk from Munich to Paris. ?I wanted to be alone with myself?... more »

May 6, 2015 | Temptation of terrorism. In 1972, America endured 1,900 domestic bombings. Why did the New Left splinter into cults for zealots?... more »

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