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Updated: 1 hour 3 min ago

<strong>Literary parties</strong> are generally awkward disasters. This holds in fiction and in life. As John O&rsquo;Hara put it, they are about &ldquo;terrible people&rdquo; getting &ldquo;gloriously drunk&rdquo;

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 19:19
Literary parties are generally awkward disasters. This holds in fiction and in life. As John O’Hara put it, they are about “terrible people” getting “gloriously drunk”

Critics debate a new structure at New York City&rsquo;s Hudson Yards &mdash; does it resemble a beehive, a pine cone, a wastebasket? They agree, though, that it is an exercise in <strong>architectural cynicism</strong>

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 18:13
Critics debate a new structure at New York City’s Hudson Yards — does it resemble a beehive, a pine cone, a wastebasket? They agree, though, that it is an exercise in architectural cynicism

Literary theory was a revolution. What happens when the revolutionaries grow old? <strong>Jane Gallop</strong> on age, falling out of fashion, and why teaching is inevitably erotic

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 18:31
Literary theory was a revolution. What happens when the revolutionaries grow old? Jane Gallop on age, falling out of fashion, and why teaching is inevitably erotic

Was <strong>Shakespeare</strong> a &ldquo;punk poet,&rdquo; a &ldquo;proto-rockstar,&rdquo; a &ldquo;16th-century Russell Crowe,&rdquo; and also a talentless middleman? Indeed so, says a new book

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 18:31
Was Shakespeare a “punk poet,” a “proto-rockstar,” a “16th-century Russell Crowe,” and also a talentless middleman? Indeed so, says a new book

<strong>Hannah Arendt</strong> knew that being human in inhuman times is hard, occasionally impossible work. She is a thinker of the difficult, a thinker for now

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 18:31
Hannah Arendt knew that being human in inhuman times is hard, occasionally impossible work. She is a thinker of the difficult, a thinker for now

<strong>Walter Benjamin in Ibiza</strong>. He escaped Nazism, went without electricity, proposed marriage and was rejected. He decided to commit suicide but didn&rsquo;t. Not yet

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 18:08
Walter Benjamin in Ibiza. He escaped Nazism, went without electricity, proposed marriage and was rejected. He decided to commit suicide but didn’t. Not yet

The genre of <strong>books about growing old</strong> is nearly as old as old age itself. They fall into three categories: the scientific, the personal, and the political

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 18:08
The genre of books about growing old is nearly as old as old age itself. They fall into three categories: the scientific, the personal, and the political

&ldquo;I detonate around him.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s easy to mock <strong>bad sex writing</strong> &mdash; especially that of Lawrence, Mailer, or E.L. James. But does that get us any closer to good sex writing?

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 18:08
“I detonate around him.” It’s easy to mock bad sex writing — especially that of Lawrence, Mailer, or E.L. James. But does that get us any closer to good sex writing?

The mystery of <strong>Bernard-Henri L&eacute;vy</strong>: How did a man so often described as inane come to be regarded as a public intellectual?

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 18:37
The mystery of Bernard-Henri Lévy: How did a man so often described as inane come to be regarded as a public intellectual?

Pamela Hansford Johnson was romantically involved with Dylan Thomas and C.P. Snow. Naturally, she developed a talent for <strong>depicting conceited men</strong>

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 18:37
Pamela Hansford Johnson was romantically involved with Dylan Thomas and C.P. Snow. Naturally, she developed a talent for depicting conceited men

J. Edgar Hoover sought to destroy Nelson Algren&rsquo;s career &mdash; and was largely successful. Now <strong>Algren&rsquo;s proletarian literature</strong> is back in fashion

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 18:37
J. Edgar Hoover sought to destroy Nelson Algren’s career — and was largely successful. Now Algren’s proletarian literature is back in fashion

<strong>Hilma af Klint</strong> has been lauded as the inventor of abstract art. But she didn&rsquo;t think of her work as abstract, and her visual approach was centuries old

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 18:12
Hilma af Klint has been lauded as the inventor of abstract art. But she didn’t think of her work as abstract, and her visual approach was centuries old

Has the internet changed the way we think? At the least, it convinced fans of <strong>Brain Pickings</strong> to confuse a grab bag of mildly cool factoids for real insight

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 18:12
Has the internet changed the way we think? At the least, it convinced fans of Brain Pickings to confuse a grab bag of mildly cool factoids for real insight

A history of <strong>the color black</strong>. From Goya&rsquo;s terrifying &ldquo;black paintings&rdquo; to <em>Tristram Shandy</em>&rsquo;s entirely black page, the color has a singular power

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 18:12
A history of the color black. From Goya’s terrifying “black paintings” to Tristram Shandy’s entirely black page, the color has a singular power

<em>The Second Sex</em> is a type of book: bold, original, scholarly, criticized, refuted, yet enduring. <strong>Books like this don't die</strong>. But academics don't write them anymore. Too bad

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 19:28
The Second Sex is a type of book: bold, original, scholarly, criticized, refuted, yet enduring. Books like this don't die. But academics don't write them anymore. Too bad

<strong>Autism </strong>was not a new term, but Hans Asperger gave it new meaning. He identified a spectrum and urged "proper understanding, love, and guidance." But his benevolence went only so far

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 19:28
Autism was not a new term, but Hans Asperger gave it new meaning. He identified a spectrum and urged "proper understanding, love, and guidance." But his benevolence went only so far

Who has the gall to tell the entire human race how to feel? Philosophers, that's who. Their counsel: <strong>Calm down, be rational</strong>. Is anyone listening?

Sun, 03/17/2019 - 19:28
Who has the gall to tell the entire human race how to feel? Philosophers, that's who. Their counsel: Calm down, be rational. Is anyone listening?

A virus has been described as <strong>bad news wrapped in a protein</strong>. When one recently colonized B.D. McClay, she got to thinking about the malicious particles that surround us

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 18:35
A virus has been described as bad news wrapped in a protein. When one recently colonized B.D. McClay, she got to thinking about the malicious particles that surround us

Part of the allure of the British Empire was the promise of exotic thrills in distant lands. But the <strong>age of pith helmets</strong> was mostly just boring

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 18:35
Part of the allure of the British Empire was the promise of exotic thrills in distant lands. But the age of pith helmets was mostly just boring

The cheery, bland age of &ldquo;<strong>books coverage</strong>.&rdquo; Reviews have been replaced by listicles, gift ideas, and promotional Q&amp;As. We deserve better

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 18:35
The cheery, bland age of “books coverage.” Reviews have been replaced by listicles, gift ideas, and promotional Q&As. We deserve better