Jan. 27, 2021 | Joan Didion was 70 before she finished a nonfiction book not drawn from magazine assignments. Her talent is spinning craftwork into art   ... more »


Jan. 26, 2021 | Critics hold that “the question of correctness is generally irrelevant” in poetry. But they’re mistaken about poets’ mistakes... more »


Jan. 25, 2021 | 19th-century science supposedly elevated the disinterested mind over human vitality. But Alexander von Humboldt’s story challenges that narrative ... more »


Jan. 23, 2021 | Derrida and Foucault are often categorized by their critics as like-minded thinkers. In fact, they spent most of their lives disagreeing  ... more »


Jan. 22, 2021 | Conspiracy theories have always existed and always will. The problem isn’t with the theories, but with our susceptibility to them... more »


Jan. 21, 2021 | The American elite is now the first national ruling class - a good thing in some ways, bad in others. Michael Lind explains  ... more »


Jan. 20, 2021 | Plagued by anxiety attacks, Beckett turned to poetry, cardiology, psychoanalysis, and finally, obscure 17th-century Christian mysticism... more »


Jan. 19, 2021 | Adam Smith was at most a deist, and David Hume was an avowed skeptic. But religion influences the economic ideas they produced  ... more »


Jan. 18, 2021 | There’s an app for that! The notion that technology offers the best solution to any problem is appealing. And dangerous... more »


Jan. 16, 2021 | How should we read? For Will Self, “we would read as gourmands eat, gobbling down huge gobbets of text” ... more »


Jan. 15, 2021 | The paradox of political science: Only by remaining aloof from the messiness of politics can it achieve the scientific authority it craves  ... more »


Jan. 14, 2021 | “I have never written a plot-driven novel,” held Ursula Le Guin. “I don’t do it; never did it; don’t want to; can’t”  ... more »


Jan. 13, 2021 | The isolation artist. Edward Hopper's paintings make an emotional resurgence amid our sustained solitude  ... more »


Jan. 12, 2021 | When Catherine Camus was informed of the death of her son Albert, all she could say was, “Too young”  ... more »


Jan. 11, 2021 | Americans say they want 2.5 children, but they're having only 1.7, on average. Why? Ross Douthat's case for larger families... more »


Jan. 9, 2021 | Ferociously dull and laden with puffery, the academic book review is a tedious genre that's outlived its purpose ... more »


Jan. 8, 2021 | The genius of Schubert’s syphilitic years was to draw the listener into his melancholy world, all the while pointing to an unattainable beauty ... more »


Jan. 7, 2021 | René Girard was not a particularly great theorist. It's easy to spot his weaknesses and lacunae. But he is the theorist our era deserves... more »


Jan. 6, 2021 | The goal of all art is inexhaustible precision — something simple, like Melville’s whale, that gains endlessly in complexity... more »


Jan. 5, 2021 | Henri Breuil, “the Pope of Prehistory,” did more than anyone else to prove that our early ancestors were capable of symbolic thought... more »


Jan. 4, 2021 | "To find humor in death isn’t to degrade or deny the sanctity of human life, but rather to grapple with its finite nature"  ... more »


Jan. 2, 2021 | "If one were interested in the sexual life of the professoriate at the turn of the last century, it would be strange to omit Veblen" ... more »


Jan. 1, 2021 | The artist who most acutely registers the deranged quality of contemporary American public life? Peter Saul... more »


Dec. 31, 2020 | Over the past 70 years, popular culture has gone from realism to fantasy and science fiction. Blame, in part, Ray Bradbury... more »


Dec. 30, 2020 | "Historians will record that in the early decades of the 21st century we became an unforgiving society, a society of furies, a society in search of guilt and shame"... more »


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