Nov. 17, 2023 | “To be a writer today is to make yourself a product for public consumption on the internet.” Few live this maxim as publicly as Taylor Lorenz... more »


Nov. 16, 2023 | Aristotle condemned the “birth of money from money,” but even then it was a losing battle. The concept of interest has been around for over 4,000 years... more »


Nov. 15, 2023 | George Scialabba’s chief intellectual virtue is generosity. Yet being treated fairly by him — as Christopher Hitchens found — can be devastating... more »


Nov. 14, 2023 | Dwight Garner cannot read without eating, and because he is a New York Times book critic, he reads quite a lot... more »


Nov. 13, 2023 | Pageantries of power. Roman emperors were overworked bureaucrats tasked with theatrical displays of strength... more »


Nov. 10, 2023 | John Silber was famously impulsive and irascible. He was also a master of the art of cultivating academic prestige... more »


Nov. 9, 2023 | Antihumanism and transhumanism are dangerous and nihilistic revolts against humanity. Are they also irresistible? ... more »


Nov. 8, 2023 | In defense of vocal fry. We love to hate ways of speaking that do not accord with our own. But what if bad English is good?... more »


Nov. 7, 2023 | Camus’s 1949 book tour: “For the first time in my life I feel myself in the middle of a psychological collapse”... more »


Nov. 6, 2023 | Anthony Hecht’s darkness and light. The poet’s complex aesthetic insisted on art as a compensation for pain and disappointment... more »


Nov. 3, 2023 | “Mrs. Orwell’s Invisible Life.” Domesticity and patriarchy shaped Eileen Blair’s life. But pointing that out doesn’t recover her story... more »


Nov. 2, 2023 | Seamus Heaney and the art of translation. “You get the high of finishing something you don’t have to start”... more »


Nov. 1, 2023 | Not just genre fiction. The pulp magazine Weird Tales published the work of H.P. Lovecraft, Tennessee Williams, and Ray Bradbury... more »


Oct. 31, 2023 | Books are big business, and trends in fiction are tied to marketing strategies. Yet these objects of art also resist the market... more »


Oct. 30, 2023 | Is indeterminacy the goal of the humanities? Or are actual political goals — organizing, coalition-building — within its remit?... more »... more »


Oct. 27, 2023 | The thoughts and the career of Don DeLillo, an old soul from another era, prefigures our own, even now... more »


Oct. 26, 2023 | Ibn Sina and Biruni were polymaths of the same time and place. But they differed in personality and perspective... more »


Oct. 25, 2023 | “Where authors find jobs, where they go to school, how they get published: These social facts have aesthetic consequences”... more »


Oct. 24, 2023 | John le Carré's serial philandering was more than a character flaw. It was integral to his literary life... more »


Oct. 23, 2023 | The tyranny of beauty. Empress Elisabeth of Austria washed her hair with raw egg and brandy, and sometimes she slept in a mask lined with raw veal... more »


Oct. 20, 2023 | You’ve heard it before: Digital disruption will sweep aside our staid universities. A new book asks: Has the time finally come?... more »


Oct. 19, 2023 | Lou Reed came to embody a New York that exists only in memory — a city of unbridled id and romantic sleaze... more »


Oct. 18, 2023 | In 18th-century London, literary clubs offered debate and fine dining to their gentleman members. Joseph Johnson’s club was different... more »


Oct. 17, 2023 | The 19th-century British literary celebrity Michael Field was not, in fact, a brilliant young man, but rather the nom de plume of two women... more »


Oct. 16, 2023 | For Martin Jay, intellectual life has both a transcendental side and a mundane side. The two are in conflict... more »


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