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Updated: 39 min 42 sec ago

Virginia Woolf declared the death of the personal essay in 1905. And the obituaries have kept rolling in. But the <strong>personal essay isn&rsquo;t dead</strong>; it&rsquo;s just no longer white

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 17:25
Virginia Woolf declared the death of the personal essay in 1905. And the obituaries have kept rolling in. But the personal essay isn’t dead; it’s just no longer white

<strong>Hugh Hefner's genius</strong> was to commodify the heterosexual male gaze. "Desire became inseparable from decoration, carnality from consumerism"

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Hugh Hefner's genius was to commodify the heterosexual male gaze. "Desire became inseparable from decoration, carnality from consumerism"

<strong>Ta-Nehisi Coates&rsquo;s essays</strong> have become major events. Is he a literary aberration, a Baldwin acolyte, or something else entirely?

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essays have become major events. Is he a literary aberration, a Baldwin acolyte, or something else entirely?

<strong>Who was Elie Wiesel</strong>? He personified what it was to visit hell and come back. He did the work of grief for us, and we were grateful. But there were two Wiesels

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Who was Elie Wiesel? He personified what it was to visit hell and come back. He did the work of grief for us, and we were grateful. But there were two Wiesels

In <strong>John McPhee&rsquo;s cosmology</strong>, all the earth&rsquo;s facts touch one another. How to connect disparate things like atoms, bears, and whiskey? You just need the right structure

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
In John McPhee’s cosmology, all the earth’s facts touch one another. How to connect disparate things like atoms, bears, and whiskey? You just need the right structure

To see &ldquo;<strong>how difference operates</strong> inside people&rsquo;s heads,&rdquo; said Stuart Hall, &ldquo;you have to go to art, you have to go to culture &mdash; to where people imagine, where they fantasize, where they symbolize&rdquo;

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
To see “how difference operates inside people’s heads,” said Stuart Hall, “you have to go to art, you have to go to culture — to where people imagine, where they fantasize, where they symbolize”

We experience art in collaboration with computers. Our cultural horizon is shaped by news feeds, inboxes, and search results. What will become of <strong>critical judgment</strong>?

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
We experience art in collaboration with computers. Our cultural horizon is shaped by news feeds, inboxes, and search results. What will become of critical judgment?

What bound the artists <strong>Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon</strong>? A love of gambling and drinking, an interest in horses, and their belligerence and cruelty

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
What bound the artists Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon? A love of gambling and drinking, an interest in horses, and their belligerence and cruelty

<strong>Alain de Botton</strong> wants to teach you how love really works. So he wrote a novel full of insights too trite to be even superficial

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
Alain de Botton wants to teach you how love really works. So he wrote a novel full of insights too trite to be even superficial

&ldquo;It is as if Chekhov had written <em>Lolita</em>.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s Philip Roth describing <strong>Richard Stern</strong>&rsquo;s novel <em>Other Men&rsquo;s Daughters</em>. But the similarities don&rsquo;t mean much

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
“It is as if Chekhov had written Lolita.” That’s Philip Roth describing Richard Stern’s novel Other Men’s Daughters. But the similarities don’t mean much

In 1930, <strong>Alexander Calder</strong> became a married man. In 1931, he became an abstract artist. These were the foundations on which he would build for the rest of his life

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:10
In 1930, Alexander Calder became a married man. In 1931, he became an abstract artist. These were the foundations on which he would build for the rest of his life

T. S. Eliot thought poets should be scholarly and offer justification for their work. Poets who followed this vision would embrace &ldquo;the <strong>glamour of overwork</strong>&rdquo;

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:10
T. S. Eliot thought poets should be scholarly and offer justification for their work. Poets who followed this vision would embrace “the glamour of overwork

"I thought, if I <strong>give Foucault LSD</strong>, I&rsquo;m sure he will realize that he is premature in obliterating our humanity and the mind as we know it"

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:10
"I thought, if I give Foucault LSD, I’m sure he will realize that he is premature in obliterating our humanity and the mind as we know it"

The Italian artist <strong>Carol Rama</strong> saw the psychiatric ward as a place of vibrancy and liberty. &ldquo;Madness is close to everybody,&rdquo; she said

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:16
The Italian artist Carol Rama saw the psychiatric ward as a place of vibrancy and liberty. “Madness is close to everybody,” she said

The &ldquo;eerie, queery, sometimes weary&rdquo; <strong>Edward Lear</strong>. A gay man in Victorian times, he lived a life full of sadness. Nonsense helped fill the void

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:16
The “eerie, queery, sometimes weary” Edward Lear. A gay man in Victorian times, he lived a life full of sadness. Nonsense helped fill the void

<strong>Democracy</strong>&nbsp;can be an unsightly spectacle. Much of the demos is ignorant or has just enough knowledge to screw things up. Is "epistocracy" the answer?

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 18:16
Democracy can be an unsightly spectacle. Much of the demos is ignorant or has just enough knowledge to screw things up. Is "epistocracy" the answer?

In the beginning was the <strong>pissing boy</strong>. Since then, painters and sculptors have depicted the act of urination. "A river of piss runs through art history"

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 18:38
In the beginning was the pissing boy. Since then, painters and sculptors have depicted the act of urination. "A river of piss runs through art history"

<strong>Montaigne</strong>&nbsp;was a politician, soldier, bureaucrat, and courtier before he became a philosopher. His work stands as a reminder of the permanent necessity of judgment

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 18:38
Montaigne was a politician, soldier, bureaucrat, and courtier before he became a philosopher. His work stands as a reminder of the permanent necessity of judgment

Why has the <strong>concept of truth</strong>&nbsp;become so problematic? It's a consequence of the opening of a distinction between truth-as-meaning and truth-as-fact

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 18:38
Why has the concept of truth become so problematic? It's a consequence of the opening of a distinction between truth-as-meaning and truth-as-fact

<strong>Secrets of the stacks.</strong> The New York Public Library&rsquo;s archives contain dentures, roller skates, and, as David Grann discovered, evidence of a systematic campaign of murder

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 23:05
Secrets of the stacks. The New York Public Library’s archives contain dentures, roller skates, and, as David Grann discovered, evidence of a systematic campaign of murder