With the rise of humanism and modern critical scholarly practices in subsequent centuries, texts began to be treated as material objects to be fixed and plumbed for meaning.
To the arguments of Huxley and Tyndall against traditional religion, Yeats had no answer until literature and the other arts came to the rescue.
Majoring in English, the sales pitch now goes, will help you craft your soul.
For some friends of the library, no defense of the stacks is necessary.
The complexities of social media ought to prompt deep reflection on what we all owe to the future, and how we might discharge this debt.
Our crisis of work is accompanied by a crisis of idleness.
Books, reading, and literature cultivate “a way of being in time.”
Who could survive such a feast, let alone digest it?
Why do dreams, aside from those that prove uncannily prophetic, not befit our biography?
The Great American Novel? Why are we still banging on about that old thing?
A neglected hard-boiled novelist wrote on the greatest conspiracy of all.
Could Sontag the woman ever live up to Sontag the persona?
To feel and give voice to the “more” of our humanity was Saul Bellow’s vocation.
What is so compelling about a book?
Vampire and zombie stories are stories of a new mass folklore. But they have dreamt themselves into us for specific reasons.
If we really wanted to kill the monster, we would give it what it wants.
We have met the monsters, and they are us.
Today’s witches are no longer experts in the “occult.” Instead, they rush to aid the downtrodden—and to publish their potion recipes in best-selling how-to guides.
At their core, cryptids represent the triumph of the particular over the generic.
We might do a better job of living together if we believed that we are meant to do so.
True crime is not quite about watching people die, but it does require an interest in the subject.
Writing a book about Thomas Jefferson means entering a very crowded field.
At the beginning of a plague, everyone is implicated.
Péguy’s critical stance toward both broad coalitions made him neither a modernist nor an antimodernist, but something quite distinctive and instructive.
That Edvard Munch never met Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the great missed encounters of the modern age.
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before.
Summer reads from THR staff and friends.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; even smaller minds complain about the rest of these people.
After situating themselves in a “wild” context, both women do what the entire history of nature writing has implicitly instructed them not to do: they bring their emotional backpacks into the landscape.
A translation of English to English presumes that ambiguity of language is always a flaw—but it’s not.
Some spooky stories for Halloween.
Cormac McCarthy gives us 500 pages of idiosyncratic wordplay without even cheap narrative excitement. Who does he think he is? Joyce? Faulkner? Melville? Well, yes.
Spooky selections for your Halloween weekend
The question for Silence is not whether another world exists but how such a recognition should affect our lives here.
To the relatives of the dead, the plague is here.
Time to adopt a new hero: Lew Archer, private detective.
Why should anyone focus on the life of the mind when individual and societal survival is threatened?
It is precisely at such moments of technological dependency that one might consider interrogating one’s relationship with technology more broadly.
To make promises, to stand by one words, to be answerable for them, is to open oneself to blame.
The solitude of sickness is not a waste of time but rather a compression of it, a bundle the size of a pill bottle.
Faulkner’s treatment of the past means much for the nature of our future.
My quarrel with M.F.K. Fisher was part of a larger quarrel I’ve been having with myself ever since we went to ground in March.
Who will emerge as the new elite from this particular moment’s cast of winners and losers?
Herzen won’t stop striving for social transformation with every ounce of energy he has, but also won’t pick up Chernyshevsky’s axe.
Why read long books? Well, if you have to ask…
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