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ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 42 min 3 sec ago

Anthony Domestico had been a book critic for seven years when he realized that no editor had ever asked him to <strong>review a female author</strong>. He thinks of two possible explanations

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:01
Anthony Domestico had been a book critic for seven years when he realized that no editor had ever asked him to review a female author. He thinks of two possible explanations

When a monk hangs out with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, what results is is the work of Sylvester Hou&eacute;dard, <strong>Benedictine beatnik</strong>&nbsp;

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:37
When a monk hangs out with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, what results is is the work of Sylvester Houédard, Benedictine beatnik 

Pick your <strong>literary role models</strong> carefully, lest you end up chasing down disappointing lovers, or chanting <em>The Waste Land</em> in the desert heat

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:37
Pick your literary role models carefully, lest you end up chasing down disappointing lovers, or chanting The Waste Land in the desert heat

With <em>Couples</em>, <strong>John Updike</strong> brought &ldquo;down-and-dirty sex" into the literary mainstream. Fifty years later, the novel seems less about sex than about loneliness

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 18:37
With Couples, John Updike brought “down-and-dirty sex" into the literary mainstream. Fifty years later, the novel seems less about sex than about loneliness

<strong>John Kidd</strong>, once the world&rsquo;s leading <em>Ulysses</em> scholar, is said to have died in sordid conditions, communing only with pigeons. The truth is stranger

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:31
John Kidd, once the world’s leading Ulysses scholar, is said to have died in sordid conditions, communing only with pigeons. The truth is stranger

<strong>Politics</strong> may be a necessary evil &mdash; but viewing everything solely through a political lens is an evil that we&rsquo;re choosing. We should stop

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:31
Politics may be a necessary evil — but viewing everything solely through a political lens is an evil that we’re choosing. We should stop

<strong>The metaphysics of water</strong>. Lakes, river, the ocean &mdash; they spur us to reckon with the immense and the unknown, to confront life&rsquo;s fluidity.

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:31
The metaphysics of water. Lakes, river, the ocean — they spur us to reckon with the immense and the unknown, to confront life’s fluidity.

The unrealized promise of <strong>Harold Brodkey</strong>. As one editor put it, his &ldquo;talent was large, but his ego was colossal, and it did him in&rdquo;

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 19:17
The unrealized promise of Harold Brodkey. As one editor put it, his “talent was large, but his ego was colossal, and it did him in”

When <strong>Saul Bellow</strong> was bad. His nonfiction reads like a hodgepodge of facts combined with ideas dreamed up simply to have something to say

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 19:17
When Saul Bellow was bad. His nonfiction reads like a hodgepodge of facts combined with ideas dreamed up simply to have something to say

<strong>Paul Gauguin</strong> abandoned Paris and his wife and children to paint in Tahiti. Does his artistic brilliance justify the moral cost?

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 19:17
Paul Gauguin abandoned Paris and his wife and children to paint in Tahiti. Does his artistic brilliance justify the moral cost?

<strong>Classicism</strong> is undergoing one of its periodic revivals. A distinctive feature of this revival is the weirdness of its architectural precedents

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 18:00
Classicism is undergoing one of its periodic revivals. A distinctive feature of this revival is the weirdness of its architectural precedents

If there&rsquo;s one thing science-fiction authors love more than cosmic terror, it&rsquo;s arguing about what constitutes <strong>&ldquo;real&rdquo; science fiction</strong>. That's a fight with high stakes

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 18:00
If there’s one thing science-fiction authors love more than cosmic terror, it’s arguing about what constitutes “real” science fiction. That's a fight with high stakes

Maybe we really have lost the vocabulary for <strong>talking about death</strong>, depending instead on euphemism, lies, and ambiguity. But there was never a time when we did death well

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 18:00
Maybe we really have lost the vocabulary for talking about death, depending instead on euphemism, lies, and ambiguity. But there was never a time when we did death well

<strong>Mary Beard</strong> has delved deep into the &ldquo;logic" of misogyny. Both apparent chivalry and mere Twitter trolling have darker roots, she notes

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:04
Mary Beard has delved deep into the “logic" of misogyny. Both apparent chivalry and mere Twitter trolling have darker roots, she notes

In the West, the filmmaker <strong>Masaki Kobayashi</strong> is seen as an earnestly didactic opponent of authoritarianism. It&rsquo;s time to move beyond such reductive political readings

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:04
In the West, the filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi is seen as an earnestly didactic opponent of authoritarianism. It’s time to move beyond such reductive political readings

&ldquo;There are no easy solutions. And yet a principled compromise is possible.&rdquo; <strong>Yascha Mounk</strong> wants to save liberal democracy &mdash; but is mature reasonableness the path forward?

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:04
“There are no easy solutions. And yet a principled compromise is possible.” Yascha Mounk wants to save liberal democracy — but is mature reasonableness the path forward?

Twenty years after <strong>Isaiah Berlin</strong>&rsquo;s death, a revival of his work is underway. But is the interest due to his ideas, or to nostalgia for a vanishing intellectual worl

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:22
Twenty years after Isaiah Berlin’s death, a revival of his work is underway. But is the interest due to his ideas, or to nostalgia for a vanishing intellectual worl

Did you know that Aristotle spoke with a lisp? That Socrates enjoyed dancing? The third-century gossip of <strong>Diogenes La&euml;rtius</strong> is fascinating, if not always factual

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:22
Did you know that Aristotle spoke with a lisp? That Socrates enjoyed dancing? The third-century gossip of Diogenes Laërtius is fascinating, if not always factual

Robert Penn Warren and William Faulkner promoted a distinct <strong>ideology of the South</strong>. For black Southern intellectuals, things weren&rsquo;t so straightforward

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:22
Robert Penn Warren and William Faulkner promoted a distinct ideology of the South. For black Southern intellectuals, things weren’t so straightforward

Black-light yoga, a sensory-deprivation chamber, magical gold medallions, psychedelic drugs, an overly friendly robot, and Noam Chomsky. Is this the <strong>world&rsquo;s strangest academic conference</strong>?

Wed, 06/06/2018 - 18:44
Black-light yoga, a sensory-deprivation chamber, magical gold medallions, psychedelic drugs, an overly friendly robot, and Noam Chomsky. Is this the world’s strangest academic conference?