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<strong>Economics</strong>, for all its pretensions, envies the hard sciences, while the humanities is just plain embarrassed. In reality, they need each other

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 18:17
Economics, for all its pretensions, envies the hard sciences, while the humanities is just plain embarrassed. In reality, they need each other

The invention of <strong>John Wayne</strong>. He was hard, brutal, anachronistic, a rebuke to the softness of postwar affluence. He was a creation of John Ford

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:34
The invention of John Wayne. He was hard, brutal, anachronistic, a rebuke to the softness of postwar affluence. He was a creation of John Ford

&ldquo;A landscape of jade, teak, bamboo, fried dog.&rdquo; So wrote <strong>Susan Sontag</strong> about China &mdash; not that she&rsquo;d been there. Her fiction was, like all her work, uneven

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:34
“A landscape of jade, teak, bamboo, fried dog.” So wrote Susan Sontag about China — not that she’d been there. Her fiction was, like all her work, uneven

We tend to valorize <strong>paying attention</strong>, but should we? As Diderot had it, distraction allows ideas to strike against or reawaken one another

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 18:34
We tend to valorize paying attention, but should we? As Diderot had it, distraction allows ideas to strike against or reawaken one another

Did the <strong>ancient Greeks lack consciousness</strong>? So asserted Julian Jaynes, in a 1976 best seller. Now science has caught up with him

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 18:18
Did the ancient Greeks lack consciousness? So asserted Julian Jaynes, in a 1976 best seller. Now science has caught up with him

The <strong>history of the book</strong>, once the domain of collectors, has been seized by scholars who've built a field around how people used to interact with print

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 18:18
The history of the book, once the domain of collectors, has been seized by scholars who've built a field around how people used to interact with print

<strong>Max Weber</strong>'s <em>The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism</em> is brilliant, readable, and short. It's also bad history, bad economics, and bad theology

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 18:18
Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is brilliant, readable, and short. It's also bad history, bad economics, and bad theology

How did Mark Bray, a buttoned-up academic historian, became the <strong>public face of antifa</strong>? By shedding his "inessential weirdness"

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 18:08
How did Mark Bray, a buttoned-up academic historian, became the public face of antifa? By shedding his "inessential weirdness"

After five decades, it's unlikely that Daniel Dennett will change his views on consciousness. He is a fanatic &mdash; an <strong>intellectually consistent fanatic</strong>

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 18:08
After five decades, it's unlikely that Daniel Dennett will change his views on consciousness. He is a fanatic — an intellectually consistent fanatic

Readers of <strong>biography</strong>, beware. You lean too heavily on anecdotes, and you construct false visions of the past. When you study the dead, tread lightly

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 18:08
Readers of biography, beware. You lean too heavily on anecdotes, and you construct false visions of the past. When you study the dead, tread lightly

When language met love. To a romantic interest, the budding poet <strong>Sylvia Plath</strong> wrote, &ldquo;I love you more than the alphabet and Roget&rsquo;s thesaurus combined.&rdquo;

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:37
When language met love. To a romantic interest, the budding poet Sylvia Plath wrote, “I love you more than the alphabet and Roget’s thesaurus combined.”

<strong>Philip Roth</strong> and the meaning of America. &ldquo;Not only can you go home again, Roth insists. You can <em>only</em> go home again.&rdquo; Newark was his sensory key

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:37
Philip Roth and the meaning of America. “Not only can you go home again, Roth insists. You can only go home again.” Newark was his sensory key

The fake machismo, the boozing, the braggadocio -- <strong>Hemingway</strong> kept up the facade of the hairy-chested artist for as long as he was able. But who was he really?

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:37
The fake machismo, the boozing, the braggadocio -- Hemingway kept up the facade of the hairy-chested artist for as long as he was able. But who was he really?

&ldquo;Curator&rdquo; once meant amateur or iconoclast (think Barnum showcasing &ldquo;industrious fleas&rdquo;). Now we have &ldquo;museum studies&rdquo; and credentials. <strong>Have exhibits improved</strong>?

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:25
“Curator” once meant amateur or iconoclast (think Barnum showcasing “industrious fleas”). Now we have “museum studies” and credentials. Have exhibits improved?

Critics think that <strong>David Foster Wallace</strong> has been studied too narrowly, and that he belongs in a broader cultural context. But is it geographical, philosophical, or economic?

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:25
Critics think that David Foster Wallace has been studied too narrowly, and that he belongs in a broader cultural context. But is it geographical, philosophical, or economic?

Stendahl compared <strong>Rossini&rsquo;s reach</strong> to Napoleon&rsquo;s, but life went bad for the composer. He lost his pension, his prot&eacute;g&eacute; died, his gonorrhea worsened

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 18:25
Stendahl compared Rossini’s reach to Napoleon’s, but life went bad for the composer. He lost his pension, his protégé died, his gonorrhea worsened

Can a pure and radical idealism be sustained without eventually curdling into despair or cynicism? The <strong>Center for Political Beauty</strong>, in Berlin, tests the limits of aggressive optimism

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 18:15
Can a pure and radical idealism be sustained without eventually curdling into despair or cynicism? The Center for Political Beauty, in Berlin, tests the limits of aggressive optimism

Does a new biography of <strong>Jann Wenner</strong> mark the last epic tome devoted to the exploits of mercurial, white, male jerks? Probably not

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 18:15
Does a new biography of Jann Wenner mark the last epic tome devoted to the exploits of mercurial, white, male jerks? Probably not

"Writing or reading an essay isn&rsquo;t the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and <strong>what your life might mean</strong>," says Jonathan Franzen. "But it is one good way"

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 18:15
"Writing or reading an essay isn’t the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and what your life might mean," says Jonathan Franzen. "But it is one good way"

We talk about books we haven&rsquo;t read and books we&rsquo;ve read but forgotten. Maybe one day we&rsquo;ll discuss <strong>books that we&rsquo;ve imagined</strong>

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 18:05
We talk about books we haven’t read and books we’ve read but forgotten. Maybe one day we’ll discuss books that we’ve imagined