Oct 042010
 

Arts & Letters Daily

ideas, criticism, debate

It's where Confucius and Lao Tzu went to think, where Li Bai and Du Fu went to find words, where Mao demonstrated his authority. In China, everything <strong>starts with a river</strong>

It's where Confucius and Lao Tzu went to think, where Li Bai and Du Fu went to find words, where Mao demonstrated his authority. In China, everything starts with a river
 
 

<strong>When sports meets philosophy</strong>. Want to test ideas about mutualism and self-interest? Try succeeding inside a cycling peloton

When sports meets philosophy. Want to test ideas about mutualism and self-interest? Try succeeding inside a cycling peloton
 
 

Of all the biographers who have written about <strong>Hemingway</strong>, not one was a woman. Now comes Mary Dearborn, immune to the writer's hairy-chested legend

Of all the biographers who have written about Hemingway, not one was a woman. Now comes Mary Dearborn, immune to the writer's hairy-chested legend
 
 

<strong>Shakespeare and the brain</strong>. Stephen Booth is a literary critic with a penetrating view of poetic language. He's transformed our understanding not only of Shakespeare but also of how we think

Shakespeare and the brain. Stephen Booth is a literary critic with a penetrating view of poetic language. He's transformed our understanding not only of Shakespeare but also of how we think
 
 

In 1940, <strong>Czeslaw Milosz</strong> had to choose between Nazi and Soviet occupation. Nazism threatened the body, while Communism threatened the soul. For Milosz, the latter was the greater sacrifice&nbsp;

In 1940, Czeslaw Milosz had to choose between Nazi and Soviet occupation. Nazism threatened the body, while Communism threatened the soul. For Milosz, the latter was the greater sacrifice 
 
 

<strong>What is a library</strong>? If you think it's just a place where society stores books, then you have a dangerously impoverished view of what knowledge can be

What is a library? If you think it's just a place where society stores books, then you have a dangerously impoverished view of what knowledge can be
 
 

At 32 <strong>Nietzsche</strong> left Basel to recuperate in Sorrento. There he separated himself from Wagner, which was odd &mdash; Wagner was also in Sorrento

At 32 Nietzsche left Basel to recuperate in Sorrento. There he separated himself from Wagner, which was odd — Wagner was also in Sorrento
 
 

The Midwest wasn't always written about as a second-class culture of yokels and rednecks who lack intellect. Blame <strong>Mencken</strong> and <em>The New Yorker</em>

The Midwest wasn't always written about as a second-class culture of yokels and rednecks who lack intellect. Blame Mencken and The New Yorker
 
 

Einstein hated beets. Hitchcock wouldn't eat eggs. Colson Whitehead can't stand ice cream. We are what we eat, but what's the significance of <strong>what we don't eat</strong>?

Einstein hated beets. Hitchcock wouldn't eat eggs. Colson Whitehead can't stand ice cream. We are what we eat, but what's the significance of what we don't eat?
 
 

<strong>How can we be</strong>? The fMRI can't identify the source of consciousness, but it can bring the problem into sharper relief

How can we be? The fMRI can't identify the source of consciousness, but it can bring the problem into sharper relief
 
 
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