March 1, 2024 | The best of W.H. Auden’s late work was animated by the tension between the aesthetic and the ethical... more »


Feb. 29, 2024 | Overlooked amid the swagger of the New York Jewish intellectuals, Pearl Kazin led a remarkable life of freedom and frustration... more »


Feb. 28, 2024 | “The people and groups and agendas grouped together as the left contain not just contradictions but sworn enemies”... more »


Feb. 27, 2024 | What if writing history were less about archives and ideas and more about forensics and genomes?... more »


Feb. 26, 2024 | Do our lives consist of the stories we tell about our ourselves? Galen Strawson on a view that’s ascendant and plainly wrong... more »


Feb. 23, 2024 | The editor and memoirist Diana Athill’s philosophy was that fidelity is a faulty mechanism on which to base a relationship... more »


Feb. 22, 2024 | “The measure of a society’s stage of moral sophistication is how infrequently it requires us to trade gratuities like love and poetry for food”... more »


Feb. 21, 2024 | Self-help is often glib, politically obtuse, and intellectually dishonest. Why, then, are philosophers writing it?... more »


Feb. 20, 2024 | The psychic entanglement of the generations, the tumult between old and the young: What we need Mary Gaitskill for... more »


Feb. 19, 2024 | After the suicide of his wife, Blake Butler wrote a book detailing her secret life. Was it art — or literary revenge porn?... more »


Feb. 16, 2024 | Maverick, crank, wisecracking economic pundit? Milton Friedman was thought too radical, then later — when his ideas won the day — too obvious... more »


Feb. 15, 2024 | Garrison Keillor, Leon Wieseltier, Otto Penzler: Is there still a role for grumpy old men in arts and letters?... more »


Feb. 14, 2024 | The legend of Eugène-François Vidocq. Circus performer, forger, and private detective, he claimed to have escaped from more than 20 French prisons... more »


Feb. 13, 2024 | “Is it possible to imagine the ballet world without a primary teleology of aesthetic perfectionism and a baseline of low self-worth?”... more »


Feb. 12, 2024 | “Opera was pretentious, boring, effete, and effeminate… Opera represented everything that my childhood in postwar America asked me not to be”... more »


Feb. 9, 2024 | Barbara Johnson’s concept of muteness envy is the result when a culture needs a way to feel power and powerlessness at once... more »


Feb. 8, 2024 | A way of arguing — breathless, declaratory, aggressive, aggrieved — has taken root in the university. Call it the hyperbolic style in American academe... more »


Feb. 7, 2024 | The Free Press is a vital journalistic corrective to progressive consensus, says Jonathan Chait — but its politics are an overcorrection... more »


Feb. 6, 2024 | The art world is crawling with counterfeits. That creates not only confusion but also opportunity. Consider the "missing" Basquiats... more »


Feb. 5, 2024 | What is art for? Our answers are aimed at justifying art’s existence. But none of that is why we care about it... more »


Feb. 2, 2024 | Given its sub-disciplines and broad range of schools and methods, Jonathan Kramnick poses a question: What unites literary studies?... more »


Feb. 1, 2024 | What to make of Anthony Hecht, whose erudite and elegant writing produced bitter, creepy, sexist poetry?... more »


Jan. 31, 2024 | For Andrea Long Chu, writing is like flirting. “A lot of people think that when you flirt, you are trying to get the person to like you. This is wrong.”... more »


Jan. 30, 2024 | The divisive Alan Watts. Was he a sophisticated distiller of Eastern philosophy — or an unlettered, alcoholic dilettante?... more »


Jan. 29, 2024 | Is the distinction between large language models and human creativity one of degree or fundamental difference?... more »


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