Feb. 3, 2015 | Edmund Burke tells us more about how to think than what to think. So how did he think? He cherished certain abstract ideals unconditionally... more »


Feb. 2, 2015 | The head-neck problem. Humans are easy to decapitate: the price we pay for standing upright. Beheadings are horrifying ? and fascinating... more »


Jan. 31, 2015 | Romantics after Romanticism. Did the aesthetic movement have a political afterlife? Consider the French Revolution, National Socialism, and 1960s student rebels... more »


Jan. 30, 2015 | Democracies lurch from crisis to crisis without ever addressing root causes ? but also without collapsing. The result: complacency and drift... more »


Jan. 29, 2015 | Eugene O'Neill embraced torment as a pathway to inspiration. He gave pain a voice, at the cost of personal mayhem and catastrophe... more »


Jan. 28, 2015 | 'This is a book about the female body and why it has turned out to be the strangest thing in existence.' Strange? To whom?... more »


Jan. 27, 2015 | Tony Judt made his name exposing the mendacious follies of public intellectuals. Then he became one... more »


Jan. 26, 2015 | Eliot in love. The poet's first wife called him ?Wonkypenky?: not a term of endearment. Sexual difficulties weren't the worst of it... more »


Jan. 24, 2015 | The music critic Virgil Thomson once saw himself as the world's most famous living composer. If only for a season... more »


Jan. 23, 2015 | Gore Vidal was brilliant and insufferable. He seemed without insecurity, shame, guilt, or doubt. He was imperturbable. And miserable... more »


Jan. 22, 2015 | Human cognition in the age of digital automation: ?What if the cost of machines that think is people who don't??... more »


Jan. 21, 2015 | Here's the thing about lying: We all do it ? three times in every 10 minutes of conversation ? while finding it the most blameworthy of acts... more »


Jan. 20, 2015 | A conservative at odds with conservatives, Francis Fukuyama says America's problem is not that government is too powerful, but that it's too weak... more »


Jan. 19, 2015 | What was Chaucer like? Hapless, by all accounts. For more than a decade, he scraped by in the stench of a dingy London bachelor pad... more »


Jan. 17, 2015 | Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence... more »


Jan. 16, 2015 | American Orwell. Irving Howe was a tender polemicist, a socialist with conservative cultural tastes and a deep commitment to heterodoxy... more »


Jan. 15, 2015 | Long considered calisthenics for the brain, memorizing poetry was once an educational mainstay. What did that mean for poetry?... more »


Jan. 14, 2015 | ?He looked like a down-and-out panhandler who had sneaked in off Duval Street to swipe a drink and a fistful of peanuts.' Gore Vidal at 83... more »


Jan. 13, 2015 | People who want to make a living in arts and letters are screwed. It's a sad fact worthy of attention. It's also not at all surprising... more »


Jan. 12, 2015 | You don't retire doing this, David Hockney says about the artistic circus that is his life. "You just do it till you fall over"... more »


Jan. 10, 2015 | Intellectuals have spoken in the language of difference since the 1960s. Mark Greif recalls a time when commonality was in the air... more »


Jan. 9, 2015 | Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, thinks nations are defined by their books. For America, Huckleberry Finn is where to start... more »


Jan. 8, 2015 | The soul-sucking joylessness of the English department. Academics have annihilated the pleasures of reading literature, not to mention their writing... more »


Jan. 7, 2015 | Voltaire's garden was an ethical statement; Emily Dickinson's was a place for private retreat. What--if anything--can we learn from an author's garden?... more »


Jan. 6, 2015 | He was a dandified outsider with outsize ambitions. She was 10 years older and married - well, but not happily. Notes on a strange romance... more »


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