Jan. 1, 2011 | MFA programs are no longer hotbeds of literary inculcation, but the university has become the economic center of the literary fiction world... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The information revolution, we used to hear, was going to break the shackles of geography and make cities irrelevant. We''d all sit before our flat screens and - and what?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Public speaking consistently ranks as one of life''s most stressful events, up there with divorce, bereavement and foreclosure. Pity, then, the plight of the stutterer'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The reader meant to compliment Carl Klaus. "In the book, you''re always so articulate. I wish I could talk like that." Come to think of it, he wished he could too'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Isabel Hapgood''s 1891 Atlantic Monthly profile of the passionate Count Leo Tolstoy turned out to be oddly prophetic in terms of the novelist''s life'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Unauthorized biographies: Public service or unseemly studies of the frailties of the famous? Kitty Kelley with a high-minded defense of a low-level pursuit...... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The octothorpe, #. It''s lived under many names: the hash, the crunch, the hex (in Singapore), the flash, the grid. In some circles it''s called tic-tactoe, in others pig-pen'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Simply place the word "radical" in front of any Muslim name and the actual person magically disappears in a cloud of suspicion... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | After the shock is gone. Pity the poor artist, heir to Marcel Duchamp, trying to advance a career by attracting attention from the jaded art world audience of today... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Art is beauty, expression, and energy in a form that emerges in its own time and on its own terms, says James Panero. So is the frenetic life of the web compatible with decent art criticism?... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Flaubert of Foggy Bottom, Dickens of Dupont Circle. Christopher Hitchens searches for a novelist who can capture the cynicism and tedium of life in the U.S. capital...... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Science vs. art. "The great wall dividing the two cultures of the sciences and the humanities has no substance," says Jonathan Gottschall. "We can walk right through it"... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'By stressing exchange as the key mechanism in the success of our species, Matt Ridley underplays education, law, patents, and science. Bill Gates likes Ridley''s message, but'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | We must get beyond the idea of classical music as a conduit to consoling beauty - a spa treatment for tired souls. Instead, use Berg and Ligeti to hear Bach and Mozart with new ears... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written: ecstatically. Lila Azam Zanganeh wanted to know more about what John Updike thought of Nabokov. So she picked up the phone... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'With its eclectic cocktail of ingredients - Greek, Roman, Persian, pagan and Christian - Qusayr Amra was Islam''s first stab at creating a courtly culture'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Public health morality points its accusing finger at pleasure. But pleasure is a good. Governments should spend less on curbing smoking and more on promoting dancing... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'The château''s being crowded out. No doubt about it, Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons look great in Versailles. But does Versailles benefit from having these works in its halls?'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In the 1990s, backpackers set off for the Third World by the droves. Enthralled primarily by one another, they regarded the natives with a mix of contempt and suspicion... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | In a better, purer world, writes David B. Hart, "ambition would be a disqualification for political authority." In our world, we elect those who have the ego-besotted effrontery to want office... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Resentment is not a zero-sum game because there is an infinite supply of it. A billionaire can resent just as well as a pauper: and, of course, vice versa... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | Christopher Hitchens collapsed first on the New York leg of his tour, and had fluid drained from around his heart. An oncologist performed a biopsy... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | The stigmatization of public virtue - and with it, devotion and care, is an insidious business, says Frank Furedi. Giving blood is not an act that ought to be on your CV... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | '"I happen to be an anti-Stalinist and an anti-Nazi," says Noam Chomsky, "so I don''t think that the state should be granted the right to determine historical truth"'... more »


Jan. 1, 2011 | 'Anton Chekhov is a mystery. Does he admire his characters or pity them? It''s never obvious. And that dark irony, that pitiless gaze that make him truly our contemporary'... more »


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