Feb. 2, 2023 | "There are two ways to write didactic fiction: with a straight face or playing it for laughs. Rushdie has always gone for the laughs"... more »


Feb. 1, 2023 | The “Outrider” tradition of peripatetic experimental artists extends from Allen Ginsberg to Amiri Baraka to the poet Anne Waldman... more »


Jan. 31, 2023 | Was John Keats a thinker similar to Karl Marx, but working in a radically different mode? Jacobin makes the case... more »


Jan. 30, 2023 | What constitutes an act of mourning? For Jonathan Lear, it is an attempt to turn loss into gain by imaginative alchemy... more »


Jan. 28, 2023 | Hemingway had four wives, Bellow five, Mailer six. Not all literary marriages are alike; each is unhappy in its own way ... more »


Jan. 27, 2023 | Epicurus was no debauched hedonist. The greatest pleasure, he thought, wasn't fame or fortune, but freedom from anxiety... more »


Jan. 26, 2023 | The modern man is struggling. Do his below-par outcomes deserve attention and policy solutions?... more »


Jan. 25, 2023 | Chekhov's stories have small titles — “A Trifle,” “A Misfortune,” “A Trivial Incident" — but carry big stakes... more »


Jan. 24, 2023 | Taking African agency seriously. Exaggerating the influence of colonialism, Olúfemi Táíwò argues, can disrespect Africans... more »


Jan. 23, 2023 | Demon of distraction. For early monks, inattentiveness was an original sin of the mind. The war to concentrate was a primordial struggle ... more »


Jan. 21, 2023 | For transhumanists, the replacement of humanity by a better, more intelligent species would be a worthy upgrade... more »


Jan. 20, 2023 | Surrealism, expressionism, existentialism, theosophy, Jewish mysticism: Kafka managed to transcend any philosophical movement... more »


Jan. 19, 2023 | Why did European music thrive in the 19th century? Because it wasn’t yet overinstitutionalized or overcredentialed... more »


Jan. 18, 2023 | Kathy Acker’s writing is allergic to any stable narratives about how women, artists, or outsiders might “find their identity”... more »


Jan. 17, 2023 | Heinrich Päs’s “monism” combines quantum physics, general relativity, hallucinogens, and the Book of Genesis ... more »


Jan. 16, 2023 | Cormac McCarthy’s latest work ditches his liturgical, ecstatic style for a more demanding and heartless mode of inquiry... more »


Jan. 14, 2023 | Mozart and Beethoven were freelance musicians. Two centuries later, they would have disappeared into a university and never heard from again ... more »


Jan. 13, 2023 | Janet Malcolm, masterly interviewer and cagey interviewee, was uniquely aware of the dangers of a tape recorder... more »


Jan. 12, 2023 | “I’m not here to demonize the petroleum industry.” So begins a fundamentally misguided work of environmental history ... more »


Jan. 11, 2023 | Kafka the diarist reveals a tormented man with a robust appetite for living... more »


Jan. 10, 2023 | A new biography skewers Norman Mailer as unreadable and hilariously terrible, but it ignores his best work... more »


Jan. 9, 2023 | Goethe, Schiller, and the practical realities and frequent absurdities of philosophizing amid the inescapable messiness of life... more »


Jan. 9, 2023 | Every Janet Malcolm story is, in a sense, the story of the construction of the story. Such is the case in her posthumous memoir... more »


Jan. 7, 2023 | Historians rightfully challenge misconceptions of America. But the nation’s myths can play a positive role, too... more »


Jan. 6, 2023 | The exclamation mark has been around for centuries. But we have not always known how to use it... more »


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