June 21, 2024 | God’s ghostwriters. Were the Gospels recorded out of conviction, or were they the work of enslaved scribes?... more »


June 20, 2024 | What explains the human journey from grunting past to garrulous present?... more »


June 19, 2024 | Everyone wants to get things done. Cue the productivity gurus, patient geniuses supposedly accomplishing great things... more »


June 18, 2024 | Northrop Frye was the leading humanist scholar of his time, until he fell out of favor. What happened? The '60s... more »


June 17, 2024 | The other Mozart. Maria Anna Mozart was a musical prodigy. Then her father sent her home to marry — a fate shared by many female pianists... more »


June 14, 2024 | What explains the notoriously strange medical ordeals of Darwin? A new theory: Lactose intolerance... more »


June 13, 2024 | Philosophers often think of themselves as purveyors of arguments. Daniel Dennett told stories... more »


June 12, 2024 | Bigwig artists reside in a bubble of flattery and hyperbole. Lynn Barber is out to puncture it... more »


June 11, 2024 | Corey Leadbeater was Joan Didion’s assistant, for nine years getting her tissues and eating her one-egg omelets... more »


June 10, 2024 | Martin Peretz is a dissatisfied man. That makes his memoir something more than an exercise in score settling... more »


June 7, 2024 | The case for hallucinogens used to be that they would improve humanity. Now they’re just another personal lifestyle option... more »


June 6, 2024 | Spinoza, culture warrior. Does the 17th-century Dutch philosopher have anything to say about truthfulness and transgender issues?... more »


June 5, 2024 | When espionage was amateur. Early agents, forgers, poisoners, and cryptographers were ruthless and effective... more »


June 4, 2024 | Becca Rothfeld wants more — from literature, culture, politics, people, and pleasure... more »


June 3, 2024 | When your father is a charismatic monster: Lucian Freud was endearing, indifferent, and always selfish. Ask his daughter... more »


May 31, 2024 | While medieval witches used magic for harm, “cunning folk” performed simple spells to find lost objects, inspire love, and heal illness... more »


May 30, 2024 | Ella Fitzgerald learned to scat because she felt out-of-place during jam sessions. So she started improvising with her voice... more »


May 29, 2024 | Horror in architecture: Modernity has produced endlessly cloned suburban homes and dystopian, shuttered factories... more »


May 28, 2024 | How can we believe in the power of language when our words are no longer reflective of any divine order? Charles Taylor investigates... more »


May 27, 2024 | Randall Sullivan went in search of the origins of evil. Too bad he got hopelessly lost along the way... more »


May 24, 2024 | In 1990, Stephen Greenblatt dismissed psychoanalysis. Now he's giving Freud a second chance, not least to point out that Shakespeare got there first... more »


May 23, 2024 | Reading Rushdie in Tehran. Iranian intellectuals approach his work with a mix of repulsion and admiration... more »


May 22, 2024 | Nostalgia has been dismissed as sick, sentimental, stupid, reactionary, and intellectually vacuous. Is it really that bad?... more »


May 21, 2024 | Besides harp playing, medieval minstrelsy featured baking, spying, diplomacy, propaganda, carpentry, and the training of dancing bears... more »


May 20, 2024 | Polyamory used to be the domain of fringe figures with strange views. Now we can't seem to stop talking about it... more »


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