July 22, 2024 | Peter Schjeldahl taught so many of us how to see art. His final act might have been to teach us how to see death clearly... more »


July 19, 2024 | For most of history, reproduction was de rigueur. Now it’s (mostly) a choice. Katha Pollitt wonders if we’re overthinking it... more »


July 18, 2024 | When radical skepticism becomes its own orthodoxy: the strange case of Charles Fort... more »


July 17, 2024 | The Situationist International was a group of cranky communists who never numbered more than a few dozen. Why have its ideas endured?... more »


July 16, 2024 | Wading through a writer's collected letters is a melancholy endeavor, says Christian Wiman, who read Seamus Heaney's... more »


July 15, 2024 | The history of taste. No work of art, even so-called classic, is timeless. Every age finds its own style... more »


July 12, 2024 | Marilynne Robinson, at 80, writes in defense of a sense of grandeur and against cynicism and smallness... more »


July 11, 2024 | Poetic criticism is not a program or a genre. It is an insinuation, a tendency. You'll know it's especially rich when it leaves you dumbstruck... more »


July 10, 2024 | The greatest legacy of the New York Intellectuals is more genre-specific than stylistic. They revitalized the American essay... more »


July 9, 2024 | Blaise Pascal was a great scientist convinced that scientific pursuits are vain. Contradiction is a big part of his appeal... more »


July 8, 2024 | Liberalism has both moral and political traditions, and their relationship is complex. Can the two be disentangled?... more »


July 5, 2024 | Reality TV’s double twist. Self-awareness – the knowledge that it’s unreal reality – operates as a pardon for the wasted time and bad taste... more »


July 4, 2024 | “How does one confront what can appear to be the devastation of a profession without internalizing or externalizing despair”... more »


July 3, 2024 | Late style and lean sentences. “I used to try to be original. Now I try to be clear and essential”... more »


July 2, 2024 | The most famous hysteric. Bertha Pappenheim was not only a typical patient but also a window into the origin of Freud’s theory of mind... more »


July 1, 2024 | Pipe down, Strunk & White. Ignore Orwell on politics and language. And everything you've been told about grammar is wrong... more »


June 28, 2024 | "An awful lot can go wrong when we crack wise. Perhaps if we were angels our sense of morality would govern our sense of humor, but we’re no angels"... more »


June 27, 2024 | The broken oracle of Silicon Valley. Want a sober assessment of what computers can and cannot contribute to the human project? Don't ask Ray Kurzweil... more »


June 26, 2024 | If you can’t conduct daily life with decency, should your critical judgments be trusted? Consider Susan Sontag and George Steiner... more »


June 25, 2024 | The celebrity-magazine profile has gone the way of, well, magazines. They've faded in importance. But, oh, the golden age... more »


June 24, 2024 | Step aside, Hemingway. The expatriate Parisian milieu after World War I was dominated by American women... more »


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 »


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