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ideas, criticism, debate
Updated: 27 min 24 sec ago

An accent in &ldquo;&eacute;lite,&rdquo; a diaeresis in &ldquo;re&euml;merge.&rdquo; <em><strong>The New Yorker </strong></em><strong>style</strong>, arbitrary and peculiar, somehow overshadows the substance of the writing&nbsp;

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 19:02
An accent in “élite,” a diaeresis in “reëmerge.” The New Yorker style, arbitrary and peculiar, somehow overshadows the substance of the writing 

America endures another <strong>racial reckoning</strong>. Will this one lead to social disintegration, political breakup, or collective nervous breakdown?

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 18:40
America endures another racial reckoning. Will this one lead to social disintegration, political breakup, or collective nervous breakdown?

You can judge critics by the intensity of their feelings. Exhibit A: <strong>Michael Robbins</strong>, who swoons for Taylor Swift and tosses Molotovs at Charles Simic

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 18:40
You can judge critics by the intensity of their feelings. Exhibit A: Michael Robbins, who swoons for Taylor Swift and tosses Molotovs at Charles Simic

Sex is nice but fleeting. The joys of syntax, on the other hand, are everlasting. For a good time, diagram a sentence or dive into <strong>Coleridge&rsquo;s poetics</strong>

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 18:40
Sex is nice but fleeting. The joys of syntax, on the other hand, are everlasting. For a good time, diagram a sentence or dive into Coleridge’s poetics

Leopold Bloom&rsquo;s behavior may bewilder, but that&rsquo;s no reason to put down <em>Ulysses</em>. <strong>Confronting the enigmatic</strong> in literature helps us understand others and ourselves

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:08
Leopold Bloom’s behavior may bewilder, but that’s no reason to put down Ulysses. Confronting the enigmatic in literature helps us understand others and ourselves

Her husband tried to commit suicide on their honeymoon, her brother disowned her, and at a ball, no one asked her to dance. <strong>George Eliot&rsquo;s humiliations</strong> enriched her writing

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:08
Her husband tried to commit suicide on their honeymoon, her brother disowned her, and at a ball, no one asked her to dance. George Eliot’s humiliations enriched her writing

<strong>Delmore Schwartz</strong> worried that he would be remembered as nasty, gauche, awkward &mdash; an overeager clown. The weight of his concerns, and his loneliness, hangs over his biographer

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:08
Delmore Schwartz worried that he would be remembered as nasty, gauche, awkward — an overeager clown. The weight of his concerns, and his loneliness, hangs over his biographer

The <strong>politics of identity </strong>is nothing new, especially on the right. Now the obsession with identity is strangling liberalism, and campus politics bears much of the blame

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 18:09
The politics of identity is nothing new, especially on the right. Now the obsession with identity is strangling liberalism, and campus politics bears much of the blame

<strong>David Hume </strong>reveled in controversy. His friend <strong>Adam Smith </strong>was more restrained. Both were unlikely and indispensable avatars of the rise of liberal thought

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 18:09
David Hume reveled in controversy. His friend Adam Smith was more restrained. Both were unlikely and indispensable avatars of the rise of liberal thought

Though "<strong>post-truth</strong>" was coined in 1992, the malady is not new. And postmodernism isn't to blame. The problem isn't about epistemology; it's about identity

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 18:09
Though "post-truth" was coined in 1992, the malady is not new. And postmodernism isn't to blame. The problem isn't about epistemology; it's about identity

<strong>Friedrich Hayek</strong>, an obscure young Viennese technocrat, was called &ldquo;Mr, Fluctooations&rdquo; behind his back. How did neoliberalism, his big idea, gain sway?

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:18
Friedrich Hayek, an obscure young Viennese technocrat, was called “Mr, Fluctooations” behind his back. How did neoliberalism, his big idea, gain sway?

<strong>Sartre</strong> compared human freedom to skiing, but he really meant surfing. The action of imposing our will on the world is like riding a wave

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:18
Sartre compared human freedom to skiing, but he really meant surfing. The action of imposing our will on the world is like riding a wave

<strong>Thoreau</strong> was a critic of triviality, gossip, and distraction. He preferred communing with dead authors to chatting with his neighbors. What would he have made of Twitter?

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 19:18
Thoreau was a critic of triviality, gossip, and distraction. He preferred communing with dead authors to chatting with his neighbors. What would he have made of Twitter?

Train stations were <strong>Tony Judt's cathedrals</strong>; timetables were his Bible. The two trains he cared about most took him to places where he could avoid history

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:34
Train stations were Tony Judt's cathedrals; timetables were his Bible. The two trains he cared about most took him to places where he could avoid history

Why do we act the way we do? Go into the weeds of <strong>human behavior </strong>and you'll arrive at a definitive conclusion: It's complicated

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:34
Why do we act the way we do? Go into the weeds of human behavior and you'll arrive at a definitive conclusion: It's complicated

Mr. Electrico, a magician, shouted &ldquo;Live forever!&rdquo; and electrified 12-year-old <strong>Ray Bradbury</strong>. The sci-fi writer is gone, but his work will last

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 17:34
Mr. Electrico, a magician, shouted “Live forever!” and electrified 12-year-old Ray Bradbury. The sci-fi writer is gone, but his work will last

<strong>How writers write</strong>. For Kingsley Amis, it was simply about applying the seat of his pants to the seat of his chair

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:43
How writers write. For Kingsley Amis, it was simply about applying the seat of his pants to the seat of his chair

Did <strong>Jane Austen </strong>weave clues into her novels of her secret, radical politics? No, but her wit and wisdom were radical in and of themselves

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:43
Did Jane Austen weave clues into her novels of her secret, radical politics? No, but her wit and wisdom were radical in and of themselves

Intellectuals are unreliable students of <strong>populism</strong>, finding it too prone to ignorance and demagogy. Beware anyone who claims to speak for "the people," but listen

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:43
Intellectuals are unreliable students of populism, finding it too prone to ignorance and demagogy. Beware anyone who claims to speak for "the people," but listen

<strong>Michiko Kakutani</strong>&ndash; feared, respected, mercurial &ndash; is stepping away from her role at <em>The Times</em>. Is this the dawn of a new age of book reviewing?

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 18:36
Michiko Kakutani– feared, respected, mercurial – is stepping away from her role at The Times. Is this the dawn of a new age of book reviewing?