Virgil Thomson, composer and critic

The music critic Virgil Thomson once saw himself as the world’s most famous living composer. If only for a season…
The music critic Virgil Thomson once saw himself as the world’s most famous living composer. If only for a season… [More]

On Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal was brilliant and insufferable. He seemed without insecurity, shame, guilt, or doubt. He was imperturbable. And miserable…
Gore Vidal was brilliant and insufferable. He seemed without insecurity, shame, guilt, or doubt. He was imperturbable. And miserable… [More]

Reign of the robots

Human cognition in the age of digital automation: “What if the cost of machines that think is people who don’t?”…
Human cognition in the age of digital automation: “What if the cost of machines that think is people who don’t?”… [More]

History of lying

Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts…
Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts… [More]

Dilulio reviews Fukuyama

A conservative at odds with conservatives, Francis Fukuyama says America’s problem is not that government is too powerful, but that it’s too weak…
A conservative at odds with conservatives, Francis Fukuyama says America’s problem is not that government is too powerful, but that it’s too weak… [More]

Rhetoric of Cowardice

Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence…
Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence… [More]

Essays of Irving Howe

American Orwell. Irving Howe was a tender polemicist, a socialist with conservative cultural tastes and a deep commitment to heterodoxy…
American Orwell. Irving Howe was a tender polemicist, a socialist with conservative cultural tastes and a deep commitment to heterodoxy… [More]

Orality, Literacy, and the Memorized Poem

Long considered calisthenics for the brain, memorizing poetry was once an educational mainstay. What did that mean for poetry?…
Long considered calisthenics for the brain, memorizing poetry was once an educational mainstay. What did that mean for poetry?… [More]

Friendship with Gore Vidal

“He looked like a down-and-out panhandler who had sneaked in off Duval Street to swipe a drink and a fistful of peanuts.” Gore Vidal at 83…
“He looked like a down-and-out panhandler who had sneaked in off Duval Street to swipe a drink and a fistful of peanuts.” Gore Vidal at 83… [More]

Culture and internet

People who want to make a living in arts and letters are screwed. It’s a sad fact worthy of attention. It’s also not at all unsurprising…
People who want to make a living in arts and letters are screwed. It’s a sad fact worthy of attention. It’s also not at all unsurprising… [More]