Jan. 1, 2011 | Founded in 1857 to advance the "American idea," The Atlantic Monthly was an odd intellectual home for Henry James, a peripatetic expat who renounced his U.S. citizenship... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'After crunching two billion words of 21st-century literature, Orin Hargraves arrived at an inescapable conclusion: fictional characters can''t stop playing with their hair'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The agony of originality. Four thousand years ago, an Egyptian writer lamented his stale prose: "Would I had phrases that are not known." If he was late to the party, what about us?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Step aside, Dale Peck. When it comes to sheer brutishness, no book critic compares to John Wilson Croker, who wrote the review that killed John Keats... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The Teflon icon. An apologist for slavery who fought to destroy the United States becomes an American hero. How did it happen?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'For conservatives considering grad school, it''s time to reconsider. Why invest so many years and dollars in the thin hope that you''ll be hired by people who loathe your views?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | After being paralyzed by a tumor, Reynolds Price told friends he was tired of discussing his health. He wanted to talk about something else: sex... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | '"I will argue that..." Oh, get on with it! Announcing your intentions might be scholarly convention, but it''s long since become an irritating tic. Geoff Dyer explains'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'At the fertility clinic, no one has sympathy for the man who can''t produce. All he''s left with is a sore arm, a sense of failure, and the ghost of an unconceived child'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Marshall McLuhan made assertions, not arguments. Most of them unintelligible, if not wrong. It''s tempting to label him a huckster and move on. But that would be a mistake'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Adventures in fandom. Opera is too often dismissed as out of touch, an elitist obsession of the wealthy. It''s that, of course, and so much more'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The old cliché is true: One person''s trash may be another person''s treasure. But let''s be serious: Thomas Kinkade''s cloying, dew-kissed paintings are, quite unambiguously, trash'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | So you want to write a book. It will be a lonely, frustrating slog. Maybe a few thousand people will read it, on its way to the remainder shelf. Why bother?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'If writing makes you a miserable wretch, and reading capaciously hasn''t been a source of moral uplift, you''re hardly alone. The literary life tends to arouse dissatisfaction and antisocial behavior'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The Internet''s early cheerleaders - anti-Hobbesian, hippie utopians, mostly - envisioned cyberspace as an unregulated public square. It''s more like a private mall'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Some guys just don''t know when to shut up. Consider the chronically garrulous Tony Kushner and his tendency to drown his characters in a sea of verbiage'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Melancholic, tormented, debauched, or otherwise awry, our poets must be lunatics, we insist. The results are both sensational and boring... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | I have a daughter who will one day take drugs, says Sam Harris. "Of course, I will do everything in my power to see that she chooses her drugs wisely"... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Good restaurant, table for one at dinner. Pathetic? No, it''s a treat. As a frequent lone diner notes: "How often do I see couples not speak to each other for an entire meal?"'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Ah, time for the writer to start writing. But wait: Are my pens facing north? What''s that funny noise? My fingernails need cutting. Do I have a toothache? Will I have a toothache?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The sudden closing of Yale''s program for the study of anti-Semitism raises the question: Where does scholarship end and advocacy begin?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The voracious scavenging of vultures has long helped prevent the spread of disease in India. But at the carcass dump on the outskirts of Bikaner, the sky is empty... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Pity today''s elite twenty-somethings. Their loving parents pumped them full of enough self-esteem to ripen them into fragile, narcissistic wrecks '... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Arsenic and oatmeal. Until the mid-1800s, there was no such thing as a toxicology report. It was a golden age of domestic murder... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'At least since Athens clashed with Sparta, the relationship between ascendant nations and dominant powers has been marked by war. Why would China''s rise be any different?'... more »


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