Oct 042010
 

Arts & Letters Daily

ideas, criticism, debate

&ldquo;As far as I am concerned, everybody should write like a man.&rdquo; <strong>Terry Castle</strong> sounds off on the authorial life, self-importance, and the value of humor

“As far as I am concerned, everybody should write like a man.” Terry Castle sounds off on the authorial life, self-importance, and the value of humor
 
 

<strong>Lillian Ross&rsquo;s brilliant viciousness</strong> spanned American letters: Capote was a leech, Nora Ephron a liar. And you wouldn&rsquo;t have wanted to get her started on the <em>NYRB</em>

Lillian Ross’s brilliant viciousness spanned American letters: Capote was a leech, Nora Ephron a liar. And you wouldn’t have wanted to get her started on the NYRB
 
 

Intellectuals agree: Unlike our ancestors, we live in <strong>a disenchanted society</strong>. But what of our obsession with healing crystals, chakras, and the occult?

Intellectuals agree: Unlike our ancestors, we live in a disenchanted society. But what of our obsession with healing crystals, chakras, and the occult?
 
 

Kissinger, Rostow, and Brzezinski were academics who became influential policy makers. How did <strong>political science become irrelevant</strong> to politics?

Kissinger, Rostow, and Brzezinski were academics who became influential policy makers. How did political science become irrelevant to politics?
 
 

In the 1980s, <strong>George Will&rsquo;s conservatism</strong> was prophetic. Today his political sensibility is antiquated, addressing problems that no longer exist

In the 1980s, George Will’s conservatism was prophetic. Today his political sensibility is antiquated, addressing problems that no longer exist
 
 

<strong>Iris Murdoch</strong> was that great, rare thing &mdash; a writer whose vision made you feel the sublime. Why aren't her books more widely read?

Iris Murdoch was that great, rare thing — a writer whose vision made you feel the sublime. Why aren't her books more widely read?
 
 

<strong>Noah Webster</strong> saw himself as a savior of the American language. He died feeling that he had failed as a lexicographer

Noah Webster saw himself as a savior of the American language. He died feeling that he had failed as a lexicographer
 
 

<strong>Thoreau</strong> was a fault-finder; <strong>Emerson</strong>, a showoff. They wanted to be friends, but, as Emerson put it, &ldquo;Friends such as we desire are dreams and fables&rdquo;

Thoreau was a fault-finder; Emerson, a showoff. They wanted to be friends, but, as Emerson put it, “Friends such as we desire are dreams and fables”
 
 

During the Cold War, <strong>America's culture policy</strong> was foreign policy. Since then, America's culture policy has become a culture war

During the Cold War, America's culture policy was foreign policy. Since then, America's culture policy has become a culture war
 
 

<strong>Philip Larkin's parents</strong> were awkward people and not very good at being happy. "These things rub off," he said

Philip Larkin's parents were awkward people and not very good at being happy. "These things rub off," he said
 
 
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