Arts and Letters Daily

Subscribe to Arts and Letters Daily feed
ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 7 min 55 sec ago

<strong>Mark Twain</strong> had one goal: Make money. By the age of 50, he was rich. &ldquo;I am frightened by the proportions of my prosperity,&rdquo; he said, and he was right to be afraid

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:19
Mark Twain had one goal: Make money. By the age of 50, he was rich. “I am frightened by the proportions of my prosperity,” he said, and he was right to be afraid

The cartoonish anti-Semitism, the affinity for fascists: "<strong>Ezra Pound</strong> is a litmus test as much as he is a poet." Is his work proof of his insanity?

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:19
The cartoonish anti-Semitism, the affinity for fascists: "Ezra Pound is a litmus test as much as he is a poet." Is his work proof of his insanity?

<strong>Peer review</strong> is essential. That&rsquo;s obvious. What isn't obvious is that it should be organized as it is &mdash; or even that it should be organized at all

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 19:19
Peer review is essential. That’s obvious. What isn't obvious is that it should be organized as it is — or even that it should be organized at all

<strong>Historical analogies</strong> are simplistic, misleading, and essential. We compare because it's necessary, even inevitable

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 18:36
Historical analogies are simplistic, misleading, and essential. We compare because it's necessary, even inevitable

How did a KKK-supporting, neo-Confederate sculptor of modest reputation come to dominate <strong> salons in Washington</strong>? Inside the tangled history of liberalism

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 18:36
How did a KKK-supporting, neo-Confederate sculptor of modest reputation come to dominate salons in Washington? Inside the tangled history of liberalism

Designed by an expert on Swiss phallic cults, <strong>the Rorschach test</strong> remains influential among Argentines, Japanese marriage counselors, and American courts

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 18:36
Designed by an expert on Swiss phallic cults, the Rorschach test remains influential among Argentines, Japanese marriage counselors, and American courts

<em>Kirkus</em>, one of the country&rsquo;s most prolific book reviews, has managed to misapprehend both the <strong>nature of reviewing</strong> and the nature of books

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 17:31
Kirkus, one of the country’s most prolific book reviews, has managed to misapprehend both the nature of reviewing and the nature of books

Luisa Casati lived with albino blackbirds, a cheetah, and a life-size wax replica of herself. What can she teach us about the <strong>nature of bohemianism</strong>?

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 17:31
Luisa Casati lived with albino blackbirds, a cheetah, and a life-size wax replica of herself. What can she teach us about the nature of bohemianism?

John Rawls called it "the best of all games"; Mark Kingwell calls it "the most philosophical of games." What is it about <strong>baseball and philosophy</strong>?

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 17:31
John Rawls called it "the best of all games"; Mark Kingwell calls it "the most philosophical of games." What is it about baseball and philosophy?

<strong>Edgar Allan Poe</strong> was a savage but uncalculating critic. He spent years mocking &ldquo;The Literati of New York City,&rdquo; then attempted to work among them

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 17:24
Edgar Allan Poe was a savage but uncalculating critic. He spent years mocking “The Literati of New York City,” then attempted to work among them

Who could be <strong>against empathy</strong>? Paul Bloom, or so he says. But is the Yale psychologist serious? Or is he just trying to sell books?

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 17:24
Who could be against empathy? Paul Bloom, or so he says. But is the Yale psychologist serious? Or is he just trying to sell books?

What makes <strong>male characters in Jane Austen</strong> so sexy? It has something to do with the taming of the masculine principle. William Deresiewicz explains

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 17:24
What makes male characters in Jane Austen so sexy? It has something to do with the taming of the masculine principle. William Deresiewicz explains

Under fire with Allied troops during World War II, <strong>Jean-Pierre Melville</strong>&nbsp;made an oath to himself: If he survived, he'd get back to Paris and build a film studio

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 18:37
Under fire with Allied troops during World War II, Jean-Pierre Melville made an oath to himself: If he survived, he'd get back to Paris and build a film studio

The relationship between <strong>morality and neurology</strong>&nbsp;is complicated. Few people get it, fewer can explain it. Robert Sapolsky, one of those few, is a determinist, but not a simple one

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 18:37
The relationship between morality and neurology is complicated. Few people get it, fewer can explain it. Robert Sapolsky, one of those few, is a determinist, but not a simple one

In love, there&rsquo;s no inoculation against betrayal. So think of <strong>affairs as a feature of relationships</strong>, not a bug. So says Esther Perel, who charges $1,500 a session for such insights

Sun, 10/22/2017 - 18:37
In love, there’s no inoculation against betrayal. So think of affairs as a feature of relationships, not a bug. So says Esther Perel, who charges $1,500 a session for such insights

<strong>War</strong> is horrible. It's also alarmingly attractive. Philip Caputo had to reconcile those two reactions before he could write about his experience in Vietnam

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:35
War is horrible. It's also alarmingly attractive. Philip Caputo had to reconcile those two reactions before he could write about his experience in Vietnam

<strong>Thinking about thinking</strong>. We think, says Alan Jacobs, because we hope to become &ldquo;more than we currently are.&rdquo; Therein lies both the promise and peril of a life lived thoughtfully

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:35
Thinking about thinking. We think, says Alan Jacobs, because we hope to become “more than we currently are.” Therein lies both the promise and peril of a life lived thoughtfully

&ldquo;If the rise of humanism was a sunrise, then in this present time we are seeing an eclipse.&rdquo; Marilynne Robinson on the value and <strong>fate of the humanities</strong>

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:35
“If the rise of humanism was a sunrise, then in this present time we are seeing an eclipse.” Marilynne Robinson on the value and fate of the humanities

&ldquo;<strong>O Niebuhr, Where Art Thou?</strong>&rdquo; He died along with the literate public's interest in theology. Now Christian thought is in a long retreat. It doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 18:09
O Niebuhr, Where Art Thou?” He died along with the literate public's interest in theology. Now Christian thought is in a long retreat. It doesn’t have to be that way

<strong>Elizabeth Bishop</strong> had astonishing control and poetic technique. But below the surface was a gushing emotional register. Was she the loneliest person who ever lived?

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 18:09
Elizabeth Bishop had astonishing control and poetic technique. But below the surface was a gushing emotional register. Was she the loneliest person who ever lived?