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Updated: 28 min 43 sec ago

The avant-gardists <strong>Arthur Cravan and Mina Loy</strong> were happily married &mdash; until he disappeared. Did he fake his death to become a counterfeiter of Oscar Wilde manuscripts?

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 15:12
The avant-gardists Arthur Cravan and Mina Loy were happily married — until he disappeared. Did he fake his death to become a counterfeiter of Oscar Wilde manuscripts?

<strong>An octopus</strong> is a soft-bodied mollusc with three hearts that beat blue-green blood. It is also remarkably clever

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 15:12
An octopus is a soft-bodied mollusc with three hearts that beat blue-green blood. It is also remarkably clever

Nobody played Schubert like <strong> Sviatoslav Richter</strong>. His secret: tempo. Slow, even glacial, or making no sense at all, but all mesmerizing

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 15:12
Nobody played Schubert like Sviatoslav Richter. His secret: tempo. Slow, even glacial, or making no sense at all, but all mesmerizing

Napoleon was allergic to leather, Queen Victoria&rsquo;s wedding cake weighed 200 pounds, and other <strong>unusual facts</strong>&nbsp;from Christie's

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:01
Napoleon was allergic to leather, Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed 200 pounds, and other unusual facts from Christie's

Randall Jarrell thought that <strong>Richard Wilbur's poetry</strong>&nbsp;didn't go far enough &mdash; that he settled for good but not great work. Now 96, has Wilbur put that critique to rest?

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:01
Randall Jarrell thought that Richard Wilbur's poetry didn't go far enough — that he settled for good but not great work. Now 96, has Wilbur put that critique to rest?

How did <strong>religious freedom</strong>&nbsp;come to the West? Spinoza and Locke are often invoked, but in reality, persecution simply became too expensive

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:01
How did religious freedom come to the West? Spinoza and Locke are often invoked, but in reality, persecution simply became too expensive

Derrida dressed like a rakish ski instructor; Foucault was fond of leather jackets. <strong>Caring about clothes&nbsp;</strong>isn&rsquo;t mere vanity &mdash; it can signal intellectual commitment

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:03
Derrida dressed like a rakish ski instructor; Foucault was fond of leather jackets. Caring about clothes isn’t mere vanity — it can signal intellectual commitment

<strong>Economic equality</strong>&nbsp;seems like a very good thing. Too bad it tends to occur only under the most barbaric of conditions

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:03
Economic equality seems like a very good thing. Too bad it tends to occur only under the most barbaric of conditions

The author of a novel is not always well placed to interpret it. Ask <strong>Orhan Pamuk</strong>, who has spent a decade reflecting on the pitfalls of teaching his own books

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:03
The author of a novel is not always well placed to interpret it. Ask Orhan Pamuk, who has spent a decade reflecting on the pitfalls of teaching his own books

Why do Americans think as they do about sex? Early Christian attitudes toward <strong>sin and shame</strong>&nbsp;play a role. But religion is only part of the answer&nbsp;

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 18:21
Why do Americans think as they do about sex? Early Christian attitudes toward sin and shame play a role. But religion is only part of the answer 

Emotions are seen as something to be tamed by cool reason. This seductive view of intelligence is reflects a <strong>bogus view of the brain</strong>

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 18:21
Emotions are seen as something to be tamed by cool reason. This seductive view of intelligence is reflects a bogus view of the brain

Their history is a catalog of lust, sex, theft, betrayal, and degradation. Characters are dangerous and damaged. Pulp novels? No, <strong>libraries</strong>

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 17:02
Their history is a catalog of lust, sex, theft, betrayal, and degradation. Characters are dangerous and damaged. Pulp novels? No, libraries

A few years after the death of <strong>Degas</strong>, his renown was at its peak. Then a former model revealed his violence, anti-Semitism, and artistic impotence

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:39
A few years after the death of Degas, his renown was at its peak. Then a former model revealed his violence, anti-Semitism, and artistic impotence

How books are read is as important as what&rsquo;s in them. <strong>Reading out loud</strong>, for instance, was seen as a defense against the "seductive, enervating dangers" of sentimental novels

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:39
How books are read is as important as what’s in them. Reading out loud, for instance, was seen as a defense against the "seductive, enervating dangers" of sentimental novels

The e-book of <em>The Godfather</em> amounts to a million bytes. A picture of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone: 35,000 bytes. We know this thanks to <strong>Claude Shannon</strong>

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:39
The e-book of The Godfather amounts to a million bytes. A picture of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone: 35,000 bytes. We know this thanks to Claude Shannon

The average <strong>museum visitor</strong> spends only a moment &mdash; about seven seconds &mdash; in front of an artwork. Why do so many people spend those seconds on selfies?&nbsp;

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 17:52
The average museum visitor spends only a moment — about seven seconds — in front of an artwork. Why do so many people spend those seconds on selfies? 

The <strong>personal essay</strong>&nbsp;has become an introspective exercise full of pretty phrases that mean nothing. Another type of personal essay is possible

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 17:52
The personal essay has become an introspective exercise full of pretty phrases that mean nothing. Another type of personal essay is possible

If the <strong>pleasures of reading</strong>&nbsp;are not too far removed from the pleasures of life, becoming a good reader is akin to learning to live well

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 17:52
If the pleasures of reading are not too far removed from the pleasures of life, becoming a good reader is akin to learning to live well

<strong>Orwell and Churchill </strong>were, on the surface, quite different. But they shared a commitment to observing accurately the world around them

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 19:02
Orwell and Churchill were, on the surface, quite different. But they shared a commitment to observing accurately the world around them

Barthes was <strong>killed by a van</strong>; Althusser strangled his wife. Could those events be connected? In a new novel, they are

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 19:02
Barthes was killed by a van; Althusser strangled his wife. Could those events be connected? In a new novel, they are