Oct 042010
 

Arts & Letters Daily

ideas, criticism, debate

<strong>Edward Abbey</strong> was a bus driver, park ranger, anarchist, and philosopher of the desert. He sought solitude but secretly craved the approval of the New York literati

Edward Abbey was a bus driver, park ranger, anarchist, and philosopher of the desert. He sought solitude but secretly craved the approval of the New York literati
 
 

The <strong>persistence of fairy tales</strong>. From Angela Carter onward, authors have retold, revised, and remixed classic stories. Today the genre is delightfully chaotic

The persistence of fairy tales. From Angela Carter onward, authors have retold, revised, and remixed classic stories. Today the genre is delightfully chaotic
 
 

A well-intentioned culture of positivity has pervaded contemporary book reviewing. The result? Advertisement-style frippery. Bring back the <strong>hatchet job</strong>

A well-intentioned culture of positivity has pervaded contemporary book reviewing. The result? Advertisement-style frippery. Bring back the hatchet job
 
 

Animal-voiced poems tend to be quirky and quaint, like T.S. Eliot&rsquo;s on cats. Enter <strong>Don Marquis</strong>, a fatalistic newspaperman who wrote cockroach-based poetry

Animal-voiced poems tend to be quirky and quaint, like T.S. Eliot’s on cats. Enter Don Marquis, a fatalistic newspaperman who wrote cockroach-based poetry
 
 

<strong>Zadie Smith</strong>&rsquo;s talent is writing dialogue &mdash; an intellectual, imaginary impersonation. In this way she contains multitudes. Her point is that we all do

Zadie Smith’s talent is writing dialogue — an intellectual, imaginary impersonation. In this way she contains multitudes. Her point is that we all do
 
 

The <strong>awfulness of pop culture</strong>. It promises to deliver pleasure &mdash; then fails. It suggests aesthetic freedom &mdash; but is only a mirage. Or so thought Adorno

The awfulness of pop culture. It promises to deliver pleasure — then fails. It suggests aesthetic freedom — but is only a mirage. Or so thought Adorno
 
 

The anti-Habermas. <strong>Peter Sloterdijk</strong> made his career sparring with the Frankfurt School and predicting the demise of liberal democracy. The times have caught up to him

The anti-Habermas. Peter Sloterdijk made his career sparring with the Frankfurt School and predicting the demise of liberal democracy. The times have caught up to him
 
 

The historian <strong>Yuval Harari</strong> champions &ldquo;Dataism&rdquo;; thinks emotions are simply algorithms; and says people will become like gods in the future. He is wrong, says David Berlinski

The historian Yuval Harari champions “Dataism”; thinks emotions are simply algorithms; and says people will become like gods in the future. He is wrong, says David Berlinski
 
 

<strong>Marcuse</strong> for the new millennium. The philosopher&rsquo;s insights into automation are key to understanding our work-obsessed age: Busyness makes us bad thinkers

Marcuse for the new millennium. The philosopher’s insights into automation are key to understanding our work-obsessed age: Busyness makes us bad thinkers
 
 

<strong>Picasso&rsquo;s erotic year.</strong> In 1932 the artist, 50, had a torrid affair with his 22-year-old model. Even his banal subjects &mdash; a fruit platter, a shadow &mdash; turned phallic

Picasso’s erotic year. In 1932 the artist, 50, had a torrid affair with his 22-year-old model. Even his banal subjects — a fruit platter, a shadow — turned phallic
 
 
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