Oct. 18, 2017 | After a decade of hype, the digital humanities has merely confirmed what should have been obvious all along: More information is not more knowledge... more »


Oct. 17, 2017 | Whether in a scholar’s attempt to live like a badger or in recent nature writing, one question stands out: What is looking back at us through other species’ eyes?... more »


Oct. 16, 2017 | In an age when truth is dismissed as fiction, the novel matters more because we all live by fictions. It’s how we get to the truth... more »


Oct. 14, 2017 | "The infatuation with portents — with the supposed relevance of voices from the past — is neither bread nor circus. It’s an obsession with history that can also be a form of amnesia"... more »


Oct. 13, 2017 | The nonstop crescendo of Allan Bloom's assault on the modern university made it easy for liberals to dismiss him — too easy. Todd Gitlin explains... more »


Oct. 12, 2017 | Coleridge and Wordsworth, Byron and Shelley. We’ve long celebrated male literary friendships while labeling female authors isolated eccentrics. Time to correct the record... more »


Oct. 11, 2017 | “What are these pines & these birds about?” wondered Thoreau. “I must know a little more.” So he embarked on his masterpiece — not Walden, but his journal... more »


Oct. 10, 2017 | Dinged as a sex-obsessed, money-hungry charlatan, Anthony Burgess earned a reputation that merits a different distinction: His work was a late triumph of modernism... more »


Oct. 9, 2017 | Henry James transformed the novel form into something new. Turn to chapter 27 of The Portrait of a Lady to see the birth of the psychological novel... more »


Oct. 7, 2017 | The Instagram poet Rupi Kaur outsells Homer 10 to 1. Her secret? Human experience, aestheticized and monetized, rendered inspirational and relatable... more »


Oct. 6, 2017 | Few women were associated with Partisan Review, and even fewer had identities as something more than literary wives. Consider Elizabeth Hardwick... more »


Oct. 5, 2017 | Leaves of Grass did not come to Walt Whitman gradually. It flowed from an epiphany. The evidence: a dozen pages he stuffed into a silly novel... more »


Oct. 4, 2017 | How wonderful to hear Beethoven’s Fifth at its 1808 premiere: 50 mediocre musicians playing on weak instruments in an unheated concert hall conducted by a deaf man after one rehearsal... more »


Oct. 3, 2017 | Do literary scholars align with the powerful against the powerless? Imagine what A People’s History of Literary Studies would look like... more »


Oct. 2, 2017 | Virginia Woolf declared the death of the personal essay in 1905. And the obituaries have kept rolling in. But the personal essay isn’t dead; it’s just no longer white... more »


Sept. 30, 2017 | Who was Elie Wiesel? He personified what it was to visit hell and come back. He did the work of grief for us, and we were grateful. But there were two Wiesels... more »


Sept. 29, 2017 | We experience art in collaboration with computers. Our cultural horizon is shaped by news feeds, inboxes, and search results. What will become of critical judgment?... more »


Sept. 28, 2017 | “It is as if Chekhov had written Lolita.” That’s Philip Roth describing Richard Stern’s novel Other Men’s Daughters. But the similarities don’t mean much... more »


Sept. 27, 2017 | "I thought, if I give Foucault LSD, I’m sure he will realize that he is premature in obliterating our humanity and the mind as we know it"... more »


Sept. 26, 2017 | Democracy can be an unsightly spectacle. Much of the demos is ignorant or has just enough knowledge to screw things up. Is "epistocracy" the answer?... more »


Sept. 25, 2017 | Why has the concept of truth become so problematic? It's a consequence of the opening of a distinction between truth-as-meaning and truth-as-fact... more »


Sept. 23, 2017 | Why is Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of analytic philosophy, largely unknown today? For starters, little was recorded of his personality -- except his virulent racism... more »


Sept. 22, 2017 | The latest neuro-nonsense, “empathetics” is the scientific (and corporate) attempt to map empathy biologically. How did this neo-phrenology come about?... more »


Sept. 21, 2017 | Evelyn Waugh's prose, known for its lethality, is seen by some as inconsistent with his Catholicism. But he couldn't have been a great satirist were he not a Catholic... more »


Sept. 20, 2017 | James Burnham, Trotskyist turned CIA operative, wasn't an unscrupulous shape-shifter. He was a committed activist who never tired of hawking himself... more »


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