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Updated: 24 min 41 sec ago

<strong>A passion for the mundane.</strong> A scuffed old bread knife, a glass vase, a coffee table &mdash; ordinary objects delighted, inspired, and confounded Matisse

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 18:34
A passion for the mundane. A scuffed old bread knife, a glass vase, a coffee table — ordinary objects delighted, inspired, and confounded Matisse

Even Bach, musical savant and master of counterpoint, did not escape critique. For one journalist, his work contained <strong>&ldquo;too much art&rdquo;</strong>

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 18:34
Even Bach, musical savant and master of counterpoint, did not escape critique. For one journalist, his work contained “too much art”

Fraud, lies, and the importance of the group. Via attachment theory, Arendt, and Milgram, a former cult member considers <strong>the psychology of brainwashing</strong>

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 18:34
Fraud, lies, and the importance of the group. Via attachment theory, Arendt, and Milgram, a former cult member considers the psychology of brainwashing

Politics run through <strong>Shakespeare&rsquo;s plays</strong>, but we know little of his own political opinions. His characters speak, they do not lecture. Yet certain themes recur

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 19:36
Politics run through Shakespeare’s plays, but we know little of his own political opinions. His characters speak, they do not lecture. Yet certain themes recur

After decades of literary labor, <strong>Bulgakov </strong>had published little: some short stories, part of a novel. The problem? His failure to understand what was wanted from his work

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 19:36
After decades of literary labor, Bulgakov had published little: some short stories, part of a novel. The problem? His failure to understand what was wanted from his work

<strong>Orchestras of the Third Reich</strong>. Austro-German musicians&rsquo; admiration for Hitler strains any belief that high art is ennobling to the spirit

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 19:36
Orchestras of the Third Reich. Austro-German musicians’ admiration for Hitler strains any belief that high art is ennobling to the spirit

Float nude in saltwater, pee in a gold toilet, lounge in a field of phalluses. <strong>Participatory art </strong>preys on our narcissism. Is that a bad thing?

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 19:33
Float nude in saltwater, pee in a gold toilet, lounge in a field of phalluses. Participatory art preys on our narcissism. Is that a bad thing?

Mickey Mouse, Jack the Ripper, Proust, mutton chops, ghost stories, comics: <strong>Joachim Kalka </strong>can write interestingly about almost anything

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 19:33
Mickey Mouse, Jack the Ripper, Proust, mutton chops, ghost stories, comics: Joachim Kalka can write interestingly about almost anything

<strong>Whose bohemia</strong>? Ida Nettleship married the painter Augustus John, had five children, competed with his 21-year-old muse, and went unmentioned in his memoir

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 19:33
Whose bohemia? Ida Nettleship married the painter Augustus John, had five children, competed with his 21-year-old muse, and went unmentioned in his memoir

Jonathan Haidt is famous for explaining how liberals and conservatives think. Now he's wagering that social psychology can calm the <strong>campus culture war</strong>

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:32
Jonathan Haidt is famous for explaining how liberals and conservatives think. Now he's wagering that social psychology can calm the campus culture war

What's the <strong>meaning of red</strong>? It's the first color. It has the most powerful poetic and aesthetic associations. It warns, prohibits, condemns

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:32
What's the meaning of red? It's the first color. It has the most powerful poetic and aesthetic associations. It warns, prohibits, condemns

<strong>A.E. Housman</strong>was a classicist-poet and voice of England. He was gaunt, gray, fond of isolation. For fun he wrote caustic takedowns of other scholars

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:32
A.E. Housmanwas a classicist-poet and voice of England. He was gaunt, gray, fond of isolation. For fun he wrote caustic takedowns of other scholars

You probably know of <strong>Charles and Ray Eames</strong> for their furniture design. But they also made more than 125 films. Why? &ldquo;To get across an idea&rdquo;

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:12
You probably know of Charles and Ray Eames for their furniture design. But they also made more than 125 films. Why? “To get across an idea”

For <strong>Terry Eagleton</strong>, culture is &ldquo;the opium of the intelligentsia.&rdquo; To understand this, along with his other epigrams, consider his anti-philosophical stance

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:12
For Terry Eagleton, culture is “the opium of the intelligentsia.” To understand this, along with his other epigrams, consider his anti-philosophical stance

Literature enriches the public sphere but speaks most powerfully in private. <strong>Andrew O&rsquo;Hagan</strong> asks: What future does literature have in an age drenched in social media?

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:12
Literature enriches the public sphere but speaks most powerfully in private. Andrew O’Hagan asks: What future does literature have in an age drenched in social media?

As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote, &ldquo;The intellect is a muscle; it must be exercised.&rdquo; But that exercise varies. Consider the <strong>reading habits of book critics</strong>

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 16:10
As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote, “The intellect is a muscle; it must be exercised.” But that exercise varies. Consider the reading habits of book critics

At least since Orwell, <strong>bad writing</strong> has been linked with bad politics. But is good writing really a panacea for social, economic, legal, and political ills?

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 16:10
At least since Orwell, bad writing has been linked with bad politics. But is good writing really a panacea for social, economic, legal, and political ills?

Neuroscientists working on <strong>the &ldquo;hard problem&rdquo; of consciousness</strong> may be doomed to fail. But there is meaning &mdash; even pleasure &mdash; in the Sisyphean task

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 16:10
Neuroscientists working on the “hard problem” of consciousness may be doomed to fail. But there is meaning — even pleasure — in the Sisyphean task

It&rsquo;s one thing to preserve a painting, quite another to preserve art made from bologna or bubble gum. <strong>Should art be made to last</strong>?

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:09
It’s one thing to preserve a painting, quite another to preserve art made from bologna or bubble gum. Should art be made to last?

<strong>Why we act as we do</strong>: neurons, neurotransmitters, hormones, teachers, peers, and society. Yet every &ldquo;cause&rdquo; of our behavior is linked to dozens of other variables

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:09
Why we act as we do: neurons, neurotransmitters, hormones, teachers, peers, and society. Yet every “cause” of our behavior is linked to dozens of other variables