Feb. 2, 2023 | The real controversy behind the film The Woman King? The poor state of our knowledge of African history... more »


Feb. 1, 2023 | How does the Philippines — a nation with at least 150 languages — read José Rizal, the national poet and novelist? In English... more »


Jan. 31, 2023 | Some clever-seeming, rich young men have renounced reading books. Their moral vision is severely lacking... more »


Jan. 30, 2023 | ChatGPT has prompted hand-wringing that "the college essay is dead." The obit is late: The college essay died years ago... more »


Jan. 28, 2023 | Full of architectural fantasies, the plans for Neom, a new city in Saudi Arabia, reveal a dystopia in the desert... more »


Jan. 27, 2023 | Vsevolod Garshin, Russia’s most underrated writer, was both an incorrigible idealist and a skeptic paralyzed by doubt ... more »


Jan. 26, 2023 | The archive mole toils in obscure used-book stores, poring over sad-looking, dog-eared paperbacks... more »


Jan. 25, 2023 | “Matisse beguiles and bewilders. He renders tree trunks in incandescent primary colors or turns the view out a window into a black void” ... more »


Jan. 24, 2023 | Most kids’ books uplift and delight, or at least instruct. Then there’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day... more »


Jan. 23, 2023 | Step aside, Sartre. It is not an exaggeration to say that Karl Jaspers is the forgotten father of existentialism ... more »


Jan. 21, 2023 | Thomas Kuhn highlighted the differences among scientific communities — and then emphasized the similarities within those differences... more »


Jan. 20, 2023 | Do not fear ChatGPT. It won’t replace human intelligence, but it might provide new starting points for our thinking... more »


Jan. 19, 2023 | The workaholics of Jewish Currents magazine ponder a difficult question: What is the Sabbath for?... more »


Jan. 18, 2023 | “To hell with culture,” argued Herbert Read. In a “natural society” there would be no artists, only workers ... more »


Jan. 17, 2023 | Literary criticism has professionalized. Its reward? The pettiness, narcissism, and insecurity of its practitioners... more »


Jan. 16, 2023 | Public spitting, defecation, urination, masturbation — shamelessness was part of Diogenes the Cynic’s philosophical strategy ... more »


Jan. 14, 2023 | Anyone who cares about the origins of ideas must take an interest in mathematics. Yet on this front, the willful ignorance of intellectuals passes for cultivation ... more »


Jan. 13, 2023 | Enter the conductrice. Male conductors claim physical, forceful authority over a symphony. Does having women in the role change that?... more »


Jan. 12, 2023 | English prose used to be ornate and elegant. Now it is simple and minimal, denuded of nuance, elegance, intricacy, and originality... more »


Jan. 11, 2023 | How to win a poetry prize: Get a B.A. from Harvard, an M.F.A. from Iowa, and befriend Carl Phillips and Robert Pinsky... more »


Jan. 10, 2023 | "Our language is entangled with our living," says Joseph M. Keegin. "Learning how to read — in the fullest sense of what literacy entails — means learning how to live"... more »


Jan. 9, 2023 | "We write to make it possible for the unwritten world to express itself through us," said Italo Calvino, who spent a large part of his life in the written world... more »


Jan. 7, 2023 | Reading great literature sent a shiver between Nabokov’s shoulder blades. You won’t get that thrill out of reading from a sense of obligation... more »


Jan. 6, 2023 | Universities are now governed by “learning outcomes” and box-ticking bureaucracies. What education is for can’t be so neatly defined... more »


Jan. 5, 2023 | Achilles tore at his hair; Edvard Munch painted blank faces. The aesthetics of pain have varied enormously ... more »


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