Sept. 15, 2018 | John Steinbeck was a bad husband. How bad? On his wedding night, he spent more than an hour on the phone with his mistress... more »


Sept. 14, 2018 | The aggression of Anthony Burgess. He skewered John le Carré, Stephen Hawking, and Umberto Eco. He even skewered himself... more »


Sept. 13, 2018 | Pretentious historicizing and sophistry on nearly every page. When Knausgaard writes about himself, it’s transcendent; when he writes about Hitler, it’s a train wreck... more »


Sept. 12, 2018 | Eleven-year-old Sally Horner was kidnapped in June 1948 and spent two years as the captive of an older man. Was this Nabokov's inspiration?... more »


Sept. 11, 2018 | A biographer’s plight: Philip Larkin was observant, romantic, and tender. He was also selfish, vulgar, and intolerant... more »


Sept. 10, 2018 | Every age offers its own cures for the previous generation’s supposedly poor parenting. The corrective du jour: Keep kids safe, but not too safe... more »


Sept. 8, 2018 | After the fall. What happened after jazz lost its cultural dominance, after it was sealed behind glass and rendered safe? It became more relevant... more »


Sept. 7, 2018 | Ancient Rome and Silicon Valley. In the former, a decline in power corresponded to a decline in ethics. In the latter, moral decline is accompanied by rising assets... more »


Sept. 6, 2018 | Hobbes, Hume, and Kant alike sympathetic to the thought that “there must be something more,” and sensitive to the limits of speculating about God... more »


Sept. 5, 2018 | The poet Laura Riding entered Robert Graves’s life in 1926. She claimed to be a goddess capable of stopping time; her true talent was for alienation... more »


Sept. 4, 2018 | A monument to candor. After 3,600 pages, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle comes to an end. “This novel has hurt everyone around me,” he writes... more »


Sept. 3, 2018 | Myers-Briggs is an "instrument" to discern personality types. It's also a mass-produced tool of social control. And a tool of liberation... more »


Sept. 1, 2018 | The old man and the muse. Adriana Ivancich, writer of rambling and incoherent letters, was banal beyond reason. Still, she sparked Hemingway’s creativity... more »


Aug. 31, 2018 | Chekhov, the ultimate commitment-phobe, married at 41. When his wife became pregnant, it seemed certain he wasn’t the father. Who was?... more »


Aug. 30, 2018 | Tourists came for the scenery, the theater, the beer and sausages, the attractive blonds. Until the late 1930s, Germany was seen as the ideal place to vacation ... more »


Aug. 29, 2018 | Robert Graves regarded tranquility as the enemy of poetry. His life was chaotic, but purposely so. "The poet, like the kettle, must boil to produce... more »


Aug. 28, 2018 | We all worry about privacy. But we also willingly give it up. What does it mean to worry so much about something we seem to want so little of?... more »


Aug. 27, 2018 | Claire Tomalin is known as a literary editor and biographer — Hardy, Austen, Dickens. Now she's telling her own story... more »


Aug. 25, 2018 | Architectural criticism has a rich tradition of antimodern alarm. James Stevens Curl is eager to join it. He wrote the critique of all critiques, or at least he tried... more »


Aug. 24, 2018 | The famously liberal philosopher John Rawls has been recast as a sharp critic of capitalism. If Rawls really was a socialist, why was he so reticent about it?... more »


Aug. 23, 2018 | Is your dream version of yourself a drily witty, slightly abrasive woman in a black turtleneck reading Sontag, Didion, and Arendt? This is the book for you... more »


Aug. 22, 2018 | Diversity of thought is the lifeblood of philosophy. Nothing is more exciting than a fresh idea. Yet academic philosophy in America shuns diversity... more »


Aug. 21, 2018 | The apocalyptic despair of the crisis-of-democracy crowd is bracing. Yes, this might be the beginning of the end. Or maybe it's the prelude to a new kind of politics... more »


Aug. 20, 2018 | Maryanne Wolf was worried. She wasn't reading as she used to. She conducted an experiment on herself, which confirmed that she'd lost "cognitive patience." Have you?... more »


Aug. 18, 2018 | Anne Hathaway’s rough ride. She's been exploited and slandered in the dim hope that her shadowy life will tell us something essential about her husband, Shakespeare. It doesn't... more »


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