Sept. 10, 2015 | The Wright brothers: an interest, an obsession, a practical plan, and, most crucially, unshakable equanimity. And there they diverge from Elon Musk... more »

Sept. 9, 2015 | The age of psychedelia lasted only a few chaotic years, and today the term is lazily invoked. But its influence on pop culture endures... more »

Sept. 8, 2015 | Want to write a memoir? Success depends on being honest and vulnerable. As Mary Karr says, “One can’t mount a stripper pole wearing a metal diving suit”... more »

Sept. 7, 2015 | Joseph Roth was a virtuoso of the short-form autobiographical essay. With an eye on the minutiae of human behavior, he captured his age ... more »

Sept. 5, 2015 | When a bag of urine taped to the leg of Clive James broke, a nurse mopped up. "I hope that sum total of my writings has been as useful to the world as her kindness"... more »

Sept. 4, 2015 | We are awash in biographical information about musicians. But Greil Marcus remains focused on how songs shape their singers... more »

Sept. 3, 2015 | What does it mean to time-travel? In literature, history is a text, and we are its readers. Fredric Jameson unpacks the idea of science fiction... more »

Sept. 2, 2015 | Shirley Jackson, known for the macabre, also had a genius for household comedy. What unified her work was a fascination with how we're governed by routine... more »

Sept. 1, 2015 | The problem of propaganda is that some amount is unavoidable in a large liberal democracy. The real question: How can it be used most productively?... more »

Aug. 31, 2015 | Squeezing, falsifying, accentuating, stiffening: Clothing has always been about artifice. And choosing what we wear has never been rational... more »

Aug. 29, 2015 | What kind of philosopher shows up at conferences in ski clothes? And goes into university administration to militarize it? Heidegger, of course... more »

Aug. 28, 2015 | Richard Dawkins insists that he's misunderstood. No firebrand, he's driven less by hostility toward religion than by enchantment with scientific reason... more »

Aug. 27, 2015 | Why are you reading Keats but not Barry Cornwall, Austen but not Mary Brunton? Fame is a fickle blessing – how is it conferred?... more »

Aug. 26, 2015 | Consider the octopus. "Devil-fish," according to Victor Hugo; Pliny called no animal more savage in causing the death of man. But oh, so intelligent and perceptive... more »

Aug. 25, 2015 | How the Holocaust became possible. It arose not from an absence of state authority but from one state's destroying the authority of others... more »

Aug. 24, 2015 | Vast, monochrome, stern, unyielding: This is the image of Communist buildings. Yet there is no easy connection between ideology and architecture... more »

Aug. 22, 2015 | The incongruities of Agnes Martin. A dedicated ascetic, she loved BMWs, margaritas, and steak. An admirer of the ocean, she lived in the desert... more »

Aug. 21, 2015 | Young T.S. Eliot. Virginia Woolf feared him; Ezra Pound envied him; Bertrand Russell respected him – though not enough to decline an affair with Eliot’s wife... more »

Aug. 20, 2015 | Leonard and Virginia Woolf, unhappy couple. A mosquito-infested honeymoon, a history of insanity, a lack of sex... more »

Aug. 19, 2015 | We are doomed by mass idiocy, half-wit artists, and obscurantist academics. Intellectual life as we knew it is dead. Or so says Mario Vargas Llosa... more »

Aug. 18, 2015 | The culture wars are over, long live the culture wars! On the Internet, new participants battle on. Has it all become an ideological sideshow?... more »

Aug. 17, 2015 | “The childish urge to understand everything doesn’t fade when the time approaches for you to do the most adult thing: vanish.” So Clive James keeps reading... more »

Aug. 15, 2015 | How to understand writing. Ignore the two Jacques (Derrida and Lacan) and focus on what actual people write — Facebook posts, G-chats, tweets... more »

Aug. 14, 2015 | Think James Wood is too literary, too devoted to intellect? Then consider his use of the word “life,” and the primacy he gives to physical existence... more »

Aug. 13, 2015 | A modern paradox: Most of us lead lives more secure than our ancestors’, yet we're more anxious about the prospect of violence. Why?... more »

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