Sept. 25, 2018 | Jill Lepore has told a story of America — its sunny ideals and its darker realities. She rejected the urge to moralize but can't resist making stern judgments... more »

Sept. 24, 2018 | Bruce Lee's life was singular, abbreviated, and politically vacant. In the five decades since his death, he's become a multifarious symbol... more »

Sept. 22, 2018 | The battle over Kafka’s literary remains, fought by reasonable people with reasonable claims, never became a dark parable befitting the man himself... more »

Sept. 21, 2018 | Old age confers a certain freedom to say what one thinks. Donald Hall, who died this year, took full advantage... more »

Sept. 20, 2018 | Overconfident, often drunk, a foe to feminism, Norman Mailer is an odd fit for our time. As his work comes back into print, what does it mean for our culture?... more »

Sept. 19, 2018 | A publishing romance. James Laughlin was 6-foot-6, a handsome champion skier. Tennessee Williams was hunched over and wore dirty gray pants. The rest was history... more »

Sept. 18, 2018 | Nietzsche aimed to terrify rather than instruct. If his philosophy can be used as therapy, it’s through the ability to deliver an electric jolt to our souls... more »

Sept. 17, 2018 | Across nearly 50 books, Terry Eagleton has proven the adage that being usefully wrong is often better than being trivially right... more »

Sept. 15, 2018 | John Steinbeck was a bad husband. How bad? On his wedding night, he spent more than an hour on the phone with his mistress... more »

Sept. 14, 2018 | The aggression of Anthony Burgess. He skewered John le Carré, Stephen Hawking, and Umberto Eco. He even skewered himself... more »

Sept. 13, 2018 | Pretentious historicizing and sophistry on nearly every page. When Knausgaard writes about himself, it’s transcendent; when he writes about Hitler, it’s a train wreck... more »

Sept. 12, 2018 | Eleven-year-old Sally Horner was kidnapped in June 1948 and spent two years as the captive of an older man. Was this Nabokov's inspiration?... more »

Sept. 11, 2018 | A biographer’s plight: Philip Larkin was observant, romantic, and tender. He was also selfish, vulgar, and intolerant... more »

Sept. 10, 2018 | Every age offers its own cures for the previous generation’s supposedly poor parenting. The corrective du jour: Keep kids safe, but not too safe... more »

Sept. 8, 2018 | After the fall. What happened after jazz lost its cultural dominance, after it was sealed behind glass and rendered safe? It became more relevant... more »

Sept. 7, 2018 | Ancient Rome and Silicon Valley. In the former, a decline in power corresponded to a decline in ethics. In the latter, moral decline is accompanied by rising assets... more »

Sept. 6, 2018 | Hobbes, Hume, and Kant alike sympathetic to the thought that “there must be something more,” and sensitive to the limits of speculating about God... more »

Sept. 5, 2018 | The poet Laura Riding entered Robert Graves’s life in 1926. She claimed to be a goddess capable of stopping time; her true talent was for alienation... more »

Sept. 4, 2018 | A monument to candor. After 3,600 pages, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle comes to an end. “This novel has hurt everyone around me,” he writes... more »

Sept. 3, 2018 | Myers-Briggs is an "instrument" to discern personality types. It's also a mass-produced tool of social control. And a tool of liberation... more »

Sept. 1, 2018 | The old man and the muse. Adriana Ivancich, writer of rambling and incoherent letters, was banal beyond reason. Still, she sparked Hemingway’s creativity... more »

Aug. 31, 2018 | Chekhov, the ultimate commitment-phobe, married at 41. When his wife became pregnant, it seemed certain he wasn’t the father. Who was?... more »

Aug. 30, 2018 | Tourists came for the scenery, the theater, the beer and sausages, the attractive blonds. Until the late 1930s, Germany was seen as the ideal place to vacation ... more »

Aug. 29, 2018 | Robert Graves regarded tranquility as the enemy of poetry. His life was chaotic, but purposely so. "The poet, like the kettle, must boil to produce... more »

Aug. 28, 2018 | We all worry about privacy. But we also willingly give it up. What does it mean to worry so much about something we seem to want so little of?... more »

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