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Books by <strong>Charles Darwin</strong> number 25. Books about Darwin number 7,500, with 160 more titles each year. Is there anything new to say on the subject? Yes

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 18:50
Books by Charles Darwin number 25. Books about Darwin number 7,500, with 160 more titles each year. Is there anything new to say on the subject? Yes

Pankaj Mishra: &ldquo;Longing for the ancien r&eacute;gime increasingly defines the <strong>Atlantic seaboard&rsquo;s pundits</strong> as much as it does the fine people defending the honour of Robert E. Lee&rdquo;

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 18:50
Pankaj Mishra: “Longing for the ancien régime increasingly defines the Atlantic seaboard’s pundits as much as it does the fine people defending the honour of Robert E. Lee”

The International Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science doesn't sound romantic. But it's where <strong>Hilary Putnam</strong> met his future wife, Ruth Anna. Pragmatism would never be the same

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 18:18
The International Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science doesn't sound romantic. But it's where Hilary Putnam met his future wife, Ruth Anna. Pragmatism would never be the same

<strong>A.E. Housman</strong>'s work is suffused with the pain of life, and the beauty of that pain. Yet his emotional armor was heavy. How to explain the gulf between poet and poetry?

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 18:18
A.E. Housman's work is suffused with the pain of life, and the beauty of that pain. Yet his emotional armor was heavy. How to explain the gulf between poet and poetry?

The idea of "<strong>white people</strong>" has a history, but it&rsquo;s a short one. It was invented on October 19, 1613, the brainchild of the Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 18:18
The idea of "white people" has a history, but it’s a short one. It was invented on October 19, 1613, the brainchild of the Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton

&ldquo;It is difficult to live in Brooklyn without becoming a deep thinker,&rdquo; wrote <strong>Clifton Fadiman</strong>, litt&eacute;rateur to the masses. Was he more than a middlebrow salesman?

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 18:35
“It is difficult to live in Brooklyn without becoming a deep thinker,” wrote Clifton Fadiman, littérateur to the masses. Was he more than a middlebrow salesman?

"The <strong>essay is subject to laws</strong> that are not less strict for appearing to be delicate and ineffable,&rdquo; says Brian Dillon, who attempts the thankless task of defining those laws

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 18:35
"The essay is subject to laws that are not less strict for appearing to be delicate and ineffable,” says Brian Dillon, who attempts the thankless task of defining those laws

HBO, TED, podcasts, documentaries: Those cultural totems of the educated elite are entirely consistent with the lazy nature of <strong>elite intellectual activity</strong>

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 18:35
HBO, TED, podcasts, documentaries: Those cultural totems of the educated elite are entirely consistent with the lazy nature of elite intellectual activity

NASA&rsquo;s leaders had an early revelation: Discovery means little if the public can't see it. The agency has commissioned <strong>outer-space art</strong> ever since

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 18:03
NASA’s leaders had an early revelation: Discovery means little if the public can't see it. The agency has commissioned outer-space art ever since

Five and a half years. That's how long <strong>Otis Redding's career</strong> lasted. Given where he came from, it's astonishing that his career happened at all

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 18:03
Five and a half years. That's how long Otis Redding's career lasted. Given where he came from, it's astonishing that his career happened at all

French was &ldquo;the pinnacle of logic&rdquo;; Flemish was the true first language. Behold the folly of early linguistics, a field <strong>full of crackpots</strong>

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 18:03
French was “the pinnacle of logic”; Flemish was the true first language. Behold the folly of early linguistics, a field full of crackpots

<strong>Frederick Wiseman's documentaries</strong> &mdash; which lack voice-over narration, soundtrack, titles, and interviews &mdash; add up to a comprehensive exploration of the American condition

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 18:24
Frederick Wiseman's documentaries — which lack voice-over narration, soundtrack, titles, and interviews — add up to a comprehensive exploration of the American condition

<strong>John McPhee</strong> is the maestro of 40,000-word nonfiction articles. He spent weeks staring at the sky thinking about how to begin. Can anyone still afford to write like that?

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 18:24
John McPhee is the maestro of 40,000-word nonfiction articles. He spent weeks staring at the sky thinking about how to begin. Can anyone still afford to write like that?

Paris&rsquo;s <strong>Bureau of Found Objects</strong> includes a wedding dress and a human skull. People who come to claim a lost possession often lose another in the process

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 18:24
Paris’s Bureau of Found Objects includes a wedding dress and a human skull. People who come to claim a lost possession often lose another in the process

<strong>Freud has been debunked</strong>, yet the apparatus that defends him persists. Why do his ideas endure? Because we want to believe them

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:54
Freud has been debunked, yet the apparatus that defends him persists. Why do his ideas endure? Because we want to believe them

<strong>The Enlightenment</strong>&nbsp;emerged from a 150-year &ldquo;staccato burst&rdquo; of European philosophy. Why did these thinkers &mdash; Hobbes, Descarte, Voltaire, Rousseau &mdash; write as they did?&nbsp;

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:54
The Enlightenment emerged from a 150-year “staccato burst” of European philosophy. Why did these thinkers — Hobbes, Descarte, Voltaire, Rousseau — write as they did? 

Every generation discovers its own <strong>Edgar Allan Poe</strong>. Now gig-economy writers hasve a kindred spirit: Poe, too, was a broke-ass freelancer

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:54
Every generation discovers its own Edgar Allan Poe. Now gig-economy writers hasve a kindred spirit: Poe, too, was a broke-ass freelancer

Ira Lightman ferrets out <strong>poets who pilfer</strong>&nbsp;lines, and then he shames them. Does that make him a hero or a bully?

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 18:14
Ira Lightman ferrets out poets who pilfer lines, and then he shames them. Does that make him a hero or a bully?

Over three years, <strong>Mozart</strong>&nbsp;composed eight piano concertos, three symphonies, and <em>The Marriage of Figaro</em>. He also bought a pet starling. Coincidence?

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 18:14
Over three years, Mozart composed eight piano concertos, three symphonies, and The Marriage of Figaro. He also bought a pet starling. Coincidence?

For a time, the personal essay colonized the internet. Now the boom is over. Sadly, nobody told <strong>Joyce Maynard</strong>

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 18:14
For a time, the personal essay colonized the internet. Now the boom is over. Sadly, nobody told Joyce Maynard