Beethoven’s personal life

Lionized in his own time, Beethoven was nonetheless in a perpetually rage. Thus his fondness for exclamation points…
Lionized in his own time, Beethoven was nonetheless in a perpetually rage. Thus his fondness for exclamation points… [More]

Physics: Superstitions and Allegories?

Physics hinges on the idea that the human mind can encompass the universe. What if that’s wishful thinking?…
Physics hinges on the idea that the human mind can encompass the universe. What if that’s wishful thinking?… [More]

Cézanne and the old masters

Anxiety of influence. While most Impressionists disavowed the old masters, Cézanne studied their works with painful precision…
Anxiety of influence. While most Impressionists disavowed the old masters, Cézanne studied their works with painful precision… [More]

Uses of Art

Like a Victorian social reformer, Alain de Botton wants to lead the masses away from shallow consumerism. And he wants to make buck…
Like a Victorian social reformer, Alain de Botton wants to lead the masses away from shallow consumerism. And he wants to make buck… [More]

Terry Eagleton’s ‘Low-Minded Virtues’

Terry Eagleton used to be “an earnest, high-minded, grim-lipped intellectual.” Then feminism redirected his gaze to low-minded virtues…
Terry Eagleton used to be “an earnest, high-minded, grim-lipped intellectual.” Then feminism redirected his gaze to low-minded virtues… [More]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time to close the book on Ralph Waldo Emerson. Neither practical nor wise, and hardly original or consistent, he was, at best, an aphorist…
Time to close the book on Ralph Waldo Emerson. Neither practical nor wise, and hardly original or consistent, he was, at best, an aphorist… [More]

Pale Fire

Love triangles, tales of incest—Nabokov’s works call out for cinematic adaptation. There is, of course, an exception: Pale Fire…
Love triangles, tales of incest—Nabokov’s works call out for cinematic adaptation. There is, of course, an exception: Pale Fire… [More]

Rosemary Tonks

The strange case of Rosemary Tonks. A successful poet and novelist, she smashed her possessions, burned her unfinished manuscript, and started anew…
The strange case of Rosemary Tonks. A successful poet and novelist, she smashed her possessions, burned her unfinished manuscript, and started anew… [More]

How Cliché

Clichés in context. At best they help us understand our commonality; at worst they replace our thoughts entirely…
Clichés in context. At best they help us understand our commonality; at worst they replace our thoughts entirely… [More]

How the World Will Speak

Greece without Greek? Japan with no Japanese? Of the world’s 6,000 languages, by 2115 only 600 will survive. John McWhorter explains…
Greece without Greek? Japan with no Japanese? Of the world’s 6,000 languages, by 2115 only 600 will survive. John McWhorter explains… [More]