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Updated: 8 min 20 sec ago

<strong>Max Eastman</strong> frolicked nude, thought his wife &ldquo;an unslakable monster of selfishness,&rdquo; and abandoned his son. Does any of this matter to his intellectual legacy?

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 18:33
Max Eastman frolicked nude, thought his wife “an unslakable monster of selfishness,” and abandoned his son. Does any of this matter to his intellectual legacy?

The novelist as journalist is a rich tradition but an uneven one. In the case of <strong>Martin Amis</strong>, the problem isn't so much his performance as his subjects&rsquo; worth

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 18:33
The novelist as journalist is a rich tradition but an uneven one. In the case of Martin Amis, the problem isn't so much his performance as his subjects’ worth

How wonderful to hear <strong>Beethoven&rsquo;s Fifth</strong> at its 1808 premiere: 50 mediocre musicians playing on weak instruments in an unheated concert hall conducted by a deaf man after one rehearsal

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 18:33
How wonderful to hear Beethoven’s Fifth at its 1808 premiere: 50 mediocre musicians playing on weak instruments in an unheated concert hall conducted by a deaf man after one rehearsal

"To <strong>gaze at the world</strong>, as if you had never seen the world and have no idea what it is, and just describe it &mdash; then maybe you could see it"

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:10
"To gaze at the world, as if you had never seen the world and have no idea what it is, and just describe it — then maybe you could see it"

Here is the story of a privileged young adult. He suffers neither intellectual disappointment nor spiritual disillusion nor emotional setbacks. He is <strong>Adam Gopnik</strong>

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:10
Here is the story of a privileged young adult. He suffers neither intellectual disappointment nor spiritual disillusion nor emotional setbacks. He is Adam Gopnik

Do literary scholars align with the powerful against the powerless? Imagine what <strong><em>A People&rsquo;s History of Literary Studies</em></strong> would look like

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 17:10
Do literary scholars align with the powerful against the powerless? Imagine what A People’s History of Literary Studies would look like

<strong>Bruce Chatwin</strong> was many things &mdash; traveler, art expert, connoisseur of the extraordinary. But not someone who favored intimate revelation. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe in becoming clean

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 17:25
Bruce Chatwin was many things — traveler, art expert, connoisseur of the extraordinary. But not someone who favored intimate revelation. “I don’t believe in becoming clean

<strong>Isaac Newton</strong> is remembered for his work on gravity, cosmology, mathematics, and the color spectrum. But his writings on Christianity are among the most daring works of the early modern period

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 17:25
Isaac Newton is remembered for his work on gravity, cosmology, mathematics, and the color spectrum. But his writings on Christianity are among the most daring works of the early modern period

Virginia Woolf declared the death of the personal essay in 1905. And the obituaries have kept rolling in. But the <strong>personal essay isn&rsquo;t dead</strong>; it&rsquo;s just no longer white

Sun, 10/01/2017 - 17:25
Virginia Woolf declared the death of the personal essay in 1905. And the obituaries have kept rolling in. But the personal essay isn’t dead; it’s just no longer white

<strong>Hugh Hefner's genius</strong> was to commodify the heterosexual male gaze. "Desire became inseparable from decoration, carnality from consumerism"

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Hugh Hefner's genius was to commodify the heterosexual male gaze. "Desire became inseparable from decoration, carnality from consumerism"

<strong>Ta-Nehisi Coates&rsquo;s essays</strong> have become major events. Is he a literary aberration, a Baldwin acolyte, or something else entirely?

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essays have become major events. Is he a literary aberration, a Baldwin acolyte, or something else entirely?

<strong>Who was Elie Wiesel</strong>? He personified what it was to visit hell and come back. He did the work of grief for us, and we were grateful. But there were two Wiesels

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 17:26
Who was Elie Wiesel? He personified what it was to visit hell and come back. He did the work of grief for us, and we were grateful. But there were two Wiesels

In <strong>John McPhee&rsquo;s cosmology</strong>, all the earth&rsquo;s facts touch one another. How to connect disparate things like atoms, bears, and whiskey? You just need the right structure

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
In John McPhee’s cosmology, all the earth’s facts touch one another. How to connect disparate things like atoms, bears, and whiskey? You just need the right structure

To see &ldquo;<strong>how difference operates</strong> inside people&rsquo;s heads,&rdquo; said Stuart Hall, &ldquo;you have to go to art, you have to go to culture &mdash; to where people imagine, where they fantasize, where they symbolize&rdquo;

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
To see “how difference operates inside people’s heads,” said Stuart Hall, “you have to go to art, you have to go to culture — to where people imagine, where they fantasize, where they symbolize”

We experience art in collaboration with computers. Our cultural horizon is shaped by news feeds, inboxes, and search results. What will become of <strong>critical judgment</strong>?

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:44
We experience art in collaboration with computers. Our cultural horizon is shaped by news feeds, inboxes, and search results. What will become of critical judgment?

What bound the artists <strong>Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon</strong>? A love of gambling and drinking, an interest in horses, and their belligerence and cruelty

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
What bound the artists Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon? A love of gambling and drinking, an interest in horses, and their belligerence and cruelty

<strong>Alain de Botton</strong> wants to teach you how love really works. So he wrote a novel full of insights too trite to be even superficial

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
Alain de Botton wants to teach you how love really works. So he wrote a novel full of insights too trite to be even superficial

&ldquo;It is as if Chekhov had written <em>Lolita</em>.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s Philip Roth describing <strong>Richard Stern</strong>&rsquo;s novel <em>Other Men&rsquo;s Daughters</em>. But the similarities don&rsquo;t mean much

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 18:22
“It is as if Chekhov had written Lolita.” That’s Philip Roth describing Richard Stern’s novel Other Men’s Daughters. But the similarities don’t mean much

In 1930, <strong>Alexander Calder</strong> became a married man. In 1931, he became an abstract artist. These were the foundations on which he would build for the rest of his life

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:10
In 1930, Alexander Calder became a married man. In 1931, he became an abstract artist. These were the foundations on which he would build for the rest of his life

T. S. Eliot thought poets should be scholarly and offer justification for their work. Poets who followed this vision would embrace &ldquo;the <strong>glamour of overwork</strong>&rdquo;

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 18:10
T. S. Eliot thought poets should be scholarly and offer justification for their work. Poets who followed this vision would embrace “the glamour of overwork