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ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 41 min 28 sec ago

The writing and enjoyment of intellectual works are often predicated on <strong>exploitation</strong>. Should one feel guilt &mdash; or gratitude &mdash; for such privileges?

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 20:41
The writing and enjoyment of intellectual works are often predicated on exploitation. Should one feel guilt — or gratitude — for such privileges?

<strong>Frida Kahlo&rsquo;s ashtray</strong>, her eyebrow pencil, her prosthetic leg &mdash; they convey only emptiness, alienation, and loss. They are displayed in museums, but they are not art

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 20:41
Frida Kahlo’s ashtray, her eyebrow pencil, her prosthetic leg — they convey only emptiness, alienation, and loss. They are displayed in museums, but they are not art

<strong>Romain Gary</strong>, literary bad boy. He fabulated copiously, wrote under assumed names, and won the Prix Goncourt twice, which was technically impossible

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 19:34
Romain Gary, literary bad boy. He fabulated copiously, wrote under assumed names, and won the Prix Goncourt twice, which was technically impossible

What do <strong>Mary McCarthy, Hannah Arendt, and Susan Sontag</strong> have in common? They'd all have delighted in eviscerating a new group biography of them

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 19:34
What do Mary McCarthy, Hannah Arendt, and Susan Sontag have in common? They'd all have delighted in eviscerating a new group biography of them

Nothing is more American than to proudly declare yourself <strong>outside the mainstream</strong>. And so we've become a herd of people busily declaring ourselves not part of the herd

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 19:34
Nothing is more American than to proudly declare yourself outside the mainstream. And so we've become a herd of people busily declaring ourselves not part of the herd

How should a novelist be? Don't read about yourself &mdash; not reviews, think pieces, stories, or tweets. <strong>Jonathan Franzen</strong> contemplates life, art, and bushtits

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 19:15
How should a novelist be? Don't read about yourself — not reviews, think pieces, stories, or tweets. Jonathan Franzen contemplates life, art, and bushtits

&ldquo;The only man who has ever stuck a knife into the queen.&rdquo; <strong>Joseph Lister</strong> operated on royals, fought gangrene, and drew inspiration from the Great Stink of 1858

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 19:15
“The only man who has ever stuck a knife into the queen.” Joseph Lister operated on royals, fought gangrene, and drew inspiration from the Great Stink of 1858

Neuroscientists chase incorrect theories; brain-imaging studies suffer from statistical mistakes; economics embraces faulty premises. Does <strong>bad science</strong> spread?

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 19:15
Neuroscientists chase incorrect theories; brain-imaging studies suffer from statistical mistakes; economics embraces faulty premises. Does bad science spread?

<strong>Nietzsche's writing style</strong> &mdash; aphoristic, polemical, funny, scathing &mdash; grew out of a belief that readers want to be provoked, amused, and annoyed

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:37
Nietzsche's writing style — aphoristic, polemical, funny, scathing — grew out of a belief that readers want to be provoked, amused, and annoyed

<strong>Who is Paul Theroux</strong>? A man split between art and commerce, America and Britain. A solitary nomad most at home with expats and oddballs

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:37
Who is Paul Theroux? A man split between art and commerce, America and Britain. A solitary nomad most at home with expats and oddballs

Writing from Arles, France, <strong>van Gogh</strong> told his brother, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m in Japan here.&rdquo; As French neoclassicism ran out of gas, his turn was to the East

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 19:37
Writing from Arles, France, van Gogh told his brother, “I’m in Japan here.” As French neoclassicism ran out of gas, his turn was to the East

<strong>George Orwell's socialism</strong> is often treated as the na&iuml;ve and quirky belief of a lovable eccentric. The truth is more complex

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 19:32
George Orwell's socialism is often treated as the naïve and quirky belief of a lovable eccentric. The truth is more complex

In 1989, researchers linked low self-esteem to social problems, prompting a wave of concern about <strong>self-worth</strong>. That study amounts to a fraud

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 19:32
In 1989, researchers linked low self-esteem to social problems, prompting a wave of concern about self-worth. That study amounts to a fraud

Fondling in the library, seduction in the bookstore &mdash; why do <strong>sex and literature</strong> go together? Edmund White on reading, writing, and romance

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 19:32
Fondling in the library, seduction in the bookstore — why do sex and literature go together? Edmund White on reading, writing, and romance

If artificial intelligence ever produces <strong>a sentient machine</strong> capable of engaging in conversation, it will most likely be a machine no one will want to talk with

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 20:35
If artificial intelligence ever produces a sentient machine capable of engaging in conversation, it will most likely be a machine no one will want to talk with

The timeless art of <strong>suckering tourists</strong>. Armed with &ldquo;authentic&rdquo; engravings of Roman monuments, a 17th-century Swiss Guardsman plied his trade

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 20:35
The timeless art of suckering tourists. Armed with “authentic” engravings of Roman monuments, a 17th-century Swiss Guardsman plied his trade

<strong>Jean-Michel Basquiat</strong> was a young black painter who became the darling of rich, mostly white, collectors. We've had a hard time making the two go together easily. So did he

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 20:35
Jean-Michel Basquiat was a young black painter who became the darling of rich, mostly white, collectors. We've had a hard time making the two go together easily. So did he

What if <em>Gravity&rsquo;s Rainbow</em> or <em>Ulysses</em> or <em>Finnegans Wake</em> came out today? We may once have liked complex books, but not anymore. <strong>Martin Amis</strong> explains

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 18:54
What if Gravity’s Rainbow or Ulysses or Finnegans Wake came out today? We may once have liked complex books, but not anymore. Martin Amis explains

&ldquo;Evolution is cleverer than you are.&rdquo; Or so goes the old saying in biology. But does it hold in our age of Crispr and <strong>computer-powered gene editing</strong>?

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 18:54
“Evolution is cleverer than you are.” Or so goes the old saying in biology. But does it hold in our age of Crispr and computer-powered gene editing?

Looking for a best-selling book for girls? Chances are it has a title like <em>Bygone Badass Broads</em> or <em>Women Who Dared</em>. But <strong>well-behaved women</strong>, too, make history

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 18:54
Looking for a best-selling book for girls? Chances are it has a title like Bygone Badass Broads or Women Who Dared. But well-behaved women, too, make history