Oct 042010
 

Arts & Letters Daily

ideas, criticism, debate

<strong>John Gray</strong> has been called a misanthrope and a nihilist. But he doesn't believe that social improvements are impossible &mdash; only that they're reversible

John Gray has been called a misanthrope and a nihilist. But he doesn't believe that social improvements are impossible — only that they're reversible
 
 

At the intersection of good music, bad music, and Christian music stood Larry Norman, the mercurial <strong>godfather of Christian rock</strong>

At the intersection of good music, bad music, and Christian music stood Larry Norman, the mercurial godfather of Christian rock
 
 

At 30, <strong>Elizabeth Jennings</strong> was a celebrated poet. At 40, she lived in poverty, a shabby eccentric haunting Oxford cafes. What went wrong?

At 30, Elizabeth Jennings was a celebrated poet. At 40, she lived in poverty, a shabby eccentric haunting Oxford cafes. What went wrong?
 
 

A more truthful representation of reality. The Italian writer <strong>Natalia Ginzburg</strong> separated storytelling from the self. Contemporary literature is only now catching up

A more truthful representation of reality. The Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg separated storytelling from the self. Contemporary literature is only now catching up
 
 

The vast literature on <strong>Hitler and Nazism</strong> circles around the central engima of the Holocaust: Premeditated action or barbaric improvisation?

The vast literature on Hitler and Nazism circles around the central engima of the Holocaust: Premeditated action or barbaric improvisation?
 
 

<strong>Eros in the academy</strong>. Intellectual magnetism often shades into erotic attraction. That's always been true of students and professors

Eros in the academy. Intellectual magnetism often shades into erotic attraction. That's always been true of students and professors
 
 

There's no business like the <strong>da Vinci business</strong>. It's a happy hunting ground for eccentrics and conspiracy theorists. And for a half-century, Martin Kemp has lived among them

There's no business like the da Vinci business. It's a happy hunting ground for eccentrics and conspiracy theorists. And for a half-century, Martin Kemp has lived among them
 
 

To what extent is inspiration entangled with intoxication? With&nbsp;<strong>writing and alcohol</strong>, it's comforting to think being sober is always better. But is it?

To what extent is inspiration entangled with intoxication? With writing and alcohol, it's comforting to think being sober is always better. But is it?
 
 

<strong>Death and the meaning of life</strong>. Have you thought about being composted or cremated? Perhaps donating your body to science? Why we distract ourselves from the fact that we are physical beings

Death and the meaning of life. Have you thought about being composted or cremated? Perhaps donating your body to science? Why we distract ourselves from the fact that we are physical beings
 
 

Algorithms and the <strong>end of taste</strong>. Taste is a moral capacity, an ability to recognize truth and beauty. It was once a human quality. Now it's a digital product

Algorithms and the end of taste. Taste is a moral capacity, an ability to recognize truth and beauty. It was once a human quality. Now it's a digital product
 
 
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