Oct 042010
 

Arts & Letters Daily

ideas, criticism, debate

One of Nancy Gardner Williams&rsquo;s lecturers was always wearing an ascot and smoking. She married him, and became <strong>&ldquo;Mrs. Stoner&rdquo;</strong>

One of Nancy Gardner Williams’s lecturers was always wearing an ascot and smoking. She married him, and became “Mrs. Stoner”
 
 

<strong>Gandhi</strong>: compassionate unifier, public intellectual, holder of classist and racist ideas. As he held, every &ldquo;case can be seen from no less than seven points of view&rdquo;

Gandhi: compassionate unifier, public intellectual, holder of classist and racist ideas. As he held, every “case can be seen from no less than seven points of view”
 
 

Long overshadowed by Voltaire and Rousseau, it&rsquo;s time for Diderot to receive his due: He was not only a founder of modernity, he was <strong>the first postmodernist</strong>

Long overshadowed by Voltaire and Rousseau, it’s time for Diderot to receive his due: He was not only a founder of modernity, he was the first postmodernist
 
 

A silver lining. A military miscue led to <strong>Thucydides&rsquo;</strong> 20-year exile from Athens &mdash; but only in the peace and quiet of exile was he able to write his <em>History</em>

A silver lining. A military miscue led to Thucydides’ 20-year exile from Athens — but only in the peace and quiet of exile was he able to write his History
 
 

<strong>Isaiah Berlin&rsquo;s</strong> impostor syndrome. &ldquo;I remain unshakeably convinced that I have all my life been overestimated,&rdquo; he confessed. &ldquo;All I write &hellip; is by nature dishevelled"

Isaiah Berlin’s impostor syndrome. “I remain unshakeably convinced that I have all my life been overestimated,” he confessed. “All I write … is by nature dishevelled"
 
 

Artists may pooh-pooh the idea of <strong>being cool</strong>, but a few of them had it down pat. Consider Warhol&rsquo;s catatonic effortlessness or Bukowski&rsquo;s timeless advice: &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t try.&rdquo;

Artists may pooh-pooh the idea of being cool, but a few of them had it down pat. Consider Warhol’s catatonic effortlessness or Bukowski’s timeless advice: “Don’t try.”
 
 

<strong>Betty Ballantine</strong>, who helped introduce cheap paperbacks to the masses, is dead at 99. Her goal: &ldquo;To change the reading habits of America&rdquo;

Betty Ballantine, who helped introduce cheap paperbacks to the masses, is dead at 99. Her goal: “To change the reading habits of America”
 
 

Humans are by nature violent, yet also cooperative. How did we evolve this way? By <strong>killing off the most violent</strong> among us, argues a new book

Humans are by nature violent, yet also cooperative. How did we evolve this way? By killing off the most violent among us, argues a new book
 
 

What do almost all <strong>ancient myths and folktales</strong> have in common? They deal with danger and death and offer highly pragmatic lessons

What do almost all ancient myths and folktales have in common? They deal with danger and death and offer highly pragmatic lessons
 
 

What is neuroscience doing to art -- explaining away its mystery or, as <strong>Eric Kandel</strong> would have it, aiding our sense of art's wonder?

What is neuroscience doing to art -- explaining away its mystery or, as Eric Kandel would have it, aiding our sense of art's wonder?
 
 
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