Arts and Letters Daily

Subscribe to Arts and Letters Daily feed
ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 41 min 6 sec ago

<strong>When French intellectuals go wild! </strong>Postwar Paris was all preening, partying, and prostitutes -- or so says a new history of bed-hopping on the Left Bank

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:06
When French intellectuals go wild! Postwar Paris was all preening, partying, and prostitutes -- or so says a new history of bed-hopping on the Left Bank

The prevalence of such terms as "no offense," "with respect," and "kind regards" are among the signs that we are in the midst of an unfortunate <strong>epidemic of politeness</strong>

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:06
The prevalence of such terms as "no offense," "with respect," and "kind regards" are among the signs that we are in the midst of an unfortunate epidemic of politeness

<strong>Beethoven and #BlackLivesMatter</strong>. To be black and a classical musician is considered a contradiction, as if loving a Haydn sonata is somehow to betray black culture

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:06
Beethoven and #BlackLivesMatter. To be black and a classical musician is considered a contradiction, as if loving a Haydn sonata is somehow to betray black culture

An air of improvisation and fun graced everything <strong>Stanley Cavell</strong> did &mdash; he seemed to make it up as he went. The philosopher is dead at 91

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:06
An air of improvisation and fun graced everything Stanley Cavell did — he seemed to make it up as he went. The philosopher is dead at 91

<strong>Philosophy is dead</strong>. Excitement, creativity, and inventiveness have been replaced by dutiful recitations and historical re-enactments

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:06
Philosophy is dead. Excitement, creativity, and inventiveness have been replaced by dutiful recitations and historical re-enactments

Has <strong>Julia Kristeva's reputation</strong> been damaged by revelations that she used to work for Bulgarian intelligence? In truth, the damage was done long ago

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:06
Has Julia Kristeva's reputation been damaged by revelations that she used to work for Bulgarian intelligence? In truth, the damage was done long ago

Murders over a Mexican stele, a &ldquo;Modigliani&rdquo; unceremoniously tossed around, frequent calls from the FBI. Life is not dull for James Martin, <strong>the world&rsquo;s top art detective&nbsp;</strong>

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 18:15
Murders over a Mexican stele, a “Modigliani” unceremoniously tossed around, frequent calls from the FBI. Life is not dull for James Martin, the world’s top art detective 

<strong>Elif Batuman</strong> thinks literature, literary theory, and their study at elite universities can be the stuff of a good novel. But is it a book people would want to read?

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 18:15
Elif Batuman thinks literature, literary theory, and their study at elite universities can be the stuff of a good novel. But is it a book people would want to read?

Finding his riffs on dead babies unappreciated, <strong>Wayne Koestenbaum</strong> dropped out of a writing workshop. What does his perverse poetry stand for?

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 18:15
Finding his riffs on dead babies unappreciated, Wayne Koestenbaum dropped out of a writing workshop. What does his perverse poetry stand for?

People hang a lot of labels on <strong>Ed Ruscha</strong>: minimalist, surrealist, neo-Dadaist, and, most of all, cool. That last one is a problem

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:48
People hang a lot of labels on Ed Ruscha: minimalist, surrealist, neo-Dadaist, and, most of all, cool. That last one is a problem

When <strong>improv comedy</strong> is done poorly, which is often, it's excruciating. But even at its best, improv is almost always inferior to prepared material

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:48
When improv comedy is done poorly, which is often, it's excruciating. But even at its best, improv is almost always inferior to prepared material

<strong>Being Leonard Bernstein&rsquo;s daughter</strong>. Hearing of her dad&rsquo;s sexual exploits was one thing; his showing up at Harvard to party was something else entirely

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 18:48
Being Leonard Bernstein’s daughter. Hearing of her dad’s sexual exploits was one thing; his showing up at Harvard to party was something else entirely

The Stanford prison experiment enjoys canonical status as evidence of our innate cruelty and inhumanity. Yet the study almost certaintly has <strong>no scientific validity</strong>. Why does it endure?

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 20:31
The Stanford prison experiment enjoys canonical status as evidence of our innate cruelty and inhumanity. Yet the study almost certaintly has no scientific validity. Why does it endure?

<strong>How did Germans see Nazism</strong>? Not as we see it. Habituation, confusion, distraction, self-interest, fear, rationalization, and a sense of personal powerlessness made terrible things possible

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 20:31
How did Germans see Nazism? Not as we see it. Habituation, confusion, distraction, self-interest, fear, rationalization, and a sense of personal powerlessness made terrible things possible

Attempts to <strong>justify the humanities</strong> tend to be a self-congratulatory fantasy: I read better books so I&rsquo;m a better person. Stanley Fish has read the best books. He's not a better person

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 20:31
Attempts to justify the humanities tend to be a self-congratulatory fantasy: I read better books so I’m a better person. Stanley Fish has read the best books. He's not a better person

The American Time Use Survey holds a mirror up to society. What does it reveal? The shift to a <strong>post-literate culture</strong> is well underway

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:47
The American Time Use Survey holds a mirror up to society. What does it reveal? The shift to a post-literate culture is well underway

Inspired by <em>Pride and Prejudice</em>, Annabella Milbanke decided to fix<strong> Lord Byron</strong>&rsquo;s flaws. They were wed, but he was no Darcy, and she no Elizabeth Bennet

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:47
Inspired by Pride and Prejudice, Annabella Milbanke decided to fix Lord Byron’s flaws. They were wed, but he was no Darcy, and she no Elizabeth Bennet

The gazillions of books and articles, the conferences, symposia, and reading groups &mdash; has it all been a waste of time? A scholar breaks up with <strong>James Joyce </strong>

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:47
The gazillions of books and articles, the conferences, symposia, and reading groups — has it all been a waste of time? A scholar breaks up with James Joyce

<strong>The birth of Fridolatry</strong>. Before the tote bags, keychains, and portrayal by Salma Hayek came a 1934 <em>Harper&rsquo;s Bazaar</em> photo shoot

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:01
The birth of Fridolatry. Before the tote bags, keychains, and portrayal by Salma Hayek came a 1934 Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot

Lorrie Moore has thought a lot about what it takes to <strong>become a writer</strong>. &ldquo;Quit classes. Quit jobs. Cash in old savings bonds. Now you have time like warts on your hands&rdquo;

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:01
Lorrie Moore has thought a lot about what it takes to become a writer. “Quit classes. Quit jobs. Cash in old savings bonds. Now you have time like warts on your hands”