Dec. 9, 2014 | Ian Buruma's interests ? Anne Frank, Clint Eastwood, kamikazes ? are linked by a single question: Why do humans behave so atrociously?... more »


Dec. 8, 2014 | Behold a new volume of T.S. Eliot's letters, all 800 unbearably banal pages. His wife's car was prone to skidding. He had many lunch appointments... more »


Dec. 6, 2014 | A magazine should plant its flag at the bloody crossroads where impertinence and rigor meet. How do TNR, Baffler, Believer, and n+1 stack up?... more »


Dec. 5, 2014 | Say what you will about Foucault ? his self-indulgence or his preening radicalism ? the man had a knack for sniffing out obscure information... more »


Dec. 4, 2014 | The poet Vladimir Mayakovsky revered Lenin, but the feeling was not mutual: ?rubbish, stupid, beyond belief, and pretentious?... more »


Dec. 3, 2014 | Privilege and the penis. Fatherhood, infidelity, alcoholism, baseball, chivalry, porn, freedom: Laura Kipnis on what it means to be a man... more »


Dec. 2, 2014 | Philip Larkin enjoyed washing dishes and doing laundry. How to reconcile that Larkin with his interest in schoolgirls, obscene letters, and trysts?... more »


Dec. 1, 2014 | It's said that fairy tales at are the roots of fiction. Probably so. But scholars can't even agree on what constitutes a fairy tale... more »


Nov. 29, 2014 | For Leonard Bernstein, showbiz success was never enough. According to Stephen Sondheim, Bernstein suffered from a ?bad case of important-itis?... more »


Nov. 28, 2014 | ?As useless as a fat child in a flood.' The worldly incompetence of Dylan Thomas was key to his boyish charm... more »


Nov. 27, 2014 | How did Leo Tolstoy, a writer of such psychological sophistication, succumb to the charms of a third-rate con man like Vladimir Chertkov?... more »


Nov. 26, 2014 | In the years before World War II, there was at least one thing intellectuals could agree on: Stefan Zweig wasn't a very good writer... more »


Nov. 25, 2014 | Bertolt Brecht: A Marxist who wore long underwear, looked like Gertrude Stein, and wrote surprisingly good erotic poetry... more »


Nov. 24, 2014 | Magnificently grotesque, vicious, or perhaps comic, the troll is a resilient character. Why we need trolls... more »


Nov. 22, 2014 | The Clive James voice: intensely serious yet self-mocking, grave but never solemn, highbrow but never snobby. And always gorgeously inventive... more »


Nov. 21, 2014 | Talk about a lack of science funding: Pavlov had to sell canine gastric juices and grow vegetables to eat. Some colleagues starved to death... more »


Nov. 20, 2014 | How does aesthetics affect history? In spurts that look forward as well as backward. Take rock 'n' roll... more »


Nov. 19, 2014 | East German censors saw their role as enabling literature, not suppressing it. That's not to say, of course, that texts weren't rejected as ?late bourgeois?... more »


Nov. 18, 2014 | It's OK to say, 'I?m working on a novel?; it's inadvisable to say, 'I?m working on my novel.' The distinction interesting, but is it an art project?... more »


Nov. 17, 2014 | E.O. Wilson has tried to explain everything: racism, overpopulation, cooperation, religion. Now he's taking on the meaning of life... more »


Nov. 15, 2014 | The narrowing of history. Ever more scholars shed light on an ever more obscure past. When did historiography become an esoteric art?... more »


Nov. 14, 2014 | Whatever the reason ? Twitter trolls, libel laws, political correctness ? the literary feud is in decline. And the culture is worse off for that... more »


Nov. 13, 2014 | Formidably erudite, faintly manic, and impossible to shut up, Slavoj ?i?ek is a cult figure. At least he's self-aware enough to send-up that status... more »


Nov. 12, 2014 | Bob Hope: Cocky, brash, bumptious, inveterate skirt-chaser, self-confident wise guy. But was he funny? For a time... more »


Nov. 11, 2014 | In Lasch's time, narcissism was a potent diagnosis of a dangerous national character. In our time, it's a mere U-turn on the American road to self-love... more »


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