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Updated: 26 min 59 sec ago

The <strong>Nobel Prize for Literature</strong> is beset by scandal. But this has nothing to do with sex. The scandal is that the prize ever had any credibility at all

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:03
The Nobel Prize for Literature is beset by scandal. But this has nothing to do with sex. The scandal is that the prize ever had any credibility at all

<strong>The Vatican Secret Archives</strong> contains 53 linear miles of materials, dating back more than 12 centuries, locked away and largely inaccessible. Until now

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 18:23
The Vatican Secret Archives contains 53 linear miles of materials, dating back more than 12 centuries, locked away and largely inaccessible. Until now

For 80 days in 1964, <strong>Nabokov</strong> recorded his dreams on index cards. Does a great writer have more-interesting dreams than the rest of us?

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 18:23
For 80 days in 1964, Nabokov recorded his dreams on index cards. Does a great writer have more-interesting dreams than the rest of us?

Who doesn't love to <strong>beat up on literary theory</strong>? It's justified, but it's not the reason undergraduates aren't getting the education they deserve

Thu, 05/03/2018 - 18:23
Who doesn't love to beat up on literary theory? It's justified, but it's not the reason undergraduates aren't getting the education they deserve

<strong>Melville, at a loss</strong>. After the commercial flop of <em>Moby-Dick</em>, he mortgaged his farm and worked on a manuscript. Whatever happened to it?

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:28
Melville, at a loss. After the commercial flop of Moby-Dick, he mortgaged his farm and worked on a manuscript. Whatever happened to it?

A tour through the maddeningly tedious canon of <strong>books by dictators</strong> leads one to ask: Does a savage autocrat lurk within every dreadful writer?

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:28
A tour through the maddeningly tedious canon of books by dictators leads one to ask: Does a savage autocrat lurk within every dreadful writer?

<strong>The Kuhn cult</strong>. Admiration for the philosopher is misplaced, says Errol Morris. Kuhn's thinking is unoriginal. Worse, it's an assault on truth

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:28
The Kuhn cult. Admiration for the philosopher is misplaced, says Errol Morris. Kuhn's thinking is unoriginal. Worse, it's an assault on truth

&ldquo;I think mayonnaise has a complex kind of relation to the sublime.&rdquo; For <strong>Fred Moten</strong>, even condiments deserve deep thinking

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 19:32
“I think mayonnaise has a complex kind of relation to the sublime.” For Fred Moten, even condiments deserve deep thinking

<strong>Surrealist sex</strong>. Eileen Agar, according to her husband, was always trying to do the impossible, "such as making love standing up in a hammock"

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 19:32
Surrealist sex. Eileen Agar, according to her husband, was always trying to do the impossible, "such as making love standing up in a hammock"

<strong>Poems that hide</strong> in plain sight. Famous works, anthologized, widely read, become so encrusted with criticism it&rsquo;s hard to see them anew

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 19:32
Poems that hide in plain sight. Famous works, anthologized, widely read, become so encrusted with criticism it’s hard to see them anew

<strong>Pity the poor pun</strong>. Reviled for its smirking stupidity, its ubiquity in advertising and talk-show banter, the wordplay deserves better

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 18:40
Pity the poor pun. Reviled for its smirking stupidity, its ubiquity in advertising and talk-show banter, the wordplay deserves better

In a Russian archive sits a cigarillo box. Inside is what's believed to be <strong>Hitler's teeth</strong>. What do they reveal about how he died?

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 17:33
In a Russian archive sits a cigarillo box. Inside is what's believed to be Hitler's teeth. What do they reveal about how he died?

<strong>Sylvia Plath's correspondence</strong> fills 1,424 pages. And that's just Volume 1. To read it is a slog, and a revelation. "I am more myself in letters"

Mon, 04/30/2018 - 17:33
Sylvia Plath's correspondence fills 1,424 pages. And that's just Volume 1. To read it is a slog, and a revelation. "I am more myself in letters"

To understand the <strong>future of campus politic</strong>s, you need to understand how a tiny altercation at the University of Nebraska, largely unnoticed at the time, became a proxy war

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 19:26
To understand the future of campus politics, you need to understand how a tiny altercation at the University of Nebraska, largely unnoticed at the time, became a proxy war

How did <strong>Gershom Scholem</strong>, an expert on obscure Jewish texts, become more than a historian or even theologian, but a prophet?

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 19:26
How did Gershom Scholem, an expert on obscure Jewish texts, become more than a historian or even theologian, but a prophet?

Wallace Thurman: editor, novelist, playwright. &ldquo;A strangely <strong>brilliant Black boy</strong> who had read everything," said Langston Hughes, "and whose critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read&rdquo;

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 19:26
Wallace Thurman: editor, novelist, playwright. “A strangely brilliant Black boy who had read everything," said Langston Hughes, "and whose critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read”

For years it was an article of faith that American classical music remained stubbornly Eurocentric and lacked a usable past. Then along came <strong>Leonard Bernstein</strong>

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 18:30
For years it was an article of faith that American classical music remained stubbornly Eurocentric and lacked a usable past. Then along came Leonard Bernstein

Math in Renaissance Europe effectively <strong>split science from religion</strong>. That's the argument of a new book. But such a sweeping generalization is prone to error

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 18:30
Math in Renaissance Europe effectively split science from religion. That's the argument of a new book. But such a sweeping generalization is prone to error

What Frida Kahlo is to Mexico, <strong>Julia de Burgos</strong> is to Puerto Rico. Except that de Burgos isn't well known to the rest of the world. Why not?

Fri, 04/27/2018 - 18:30
What Frida Kahlo is to Mexico, Julia de Burgos is to Puerto Rico. Except that de Burgos isn't well known to the rest of the world. Why not?

Worried that artificial intelligence will eclipse human intelligence? Rest easy, says <strong>Steven Pinker</strong>. Such scenarios falsely assume that intelligence implies a will to power

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 18:05
Worried that artificial intelligence will eclipse human intelligence? Rest easy, says Steven Pinker. Such scenarios falsely assume that intelligence implies a will to power