The New York Review of Books has just brought up that old conundrum of how to deal with the personal evil of great artists. This time around it is the anti-Semitism of T.S.Eliot, the most influential English language poet of the 20th Century. But he is just one of numerous major artists whose moral character was often in inverse proportion to their artistic talent.
It used to feel naive to talk openly about your actions to mitigate climate change. "It's all meaningless" would be the response. Watch now as the questions change from "What can be done?" to "What is being done... and what are you doing?"
Negging out is my new virtue of 2014. It may be the new word of the year once it enters the American English Oxford Dictionary. Someone may end up negging out of the Selfie by then.
I nearly died just after writing the first draft of my second novel. The story is unnerving, possibly amoral, anarchic, and, certainly, nihilistic as hell -- but it still tries to say life is a magnificent and magical journey.
This Washington reassessment of the new possibilities for negotiations with Iran is remarkable, especially when compared to the American political environment of less than a year ago.
To seriously test Rouhani's offer of engagement, Obama needs a little room from Congress. He can't seriously engage Iran if it's widely perceived that the whole Congress is working to undermine him.
Why does history remember some novels, and forget others? Okay, because most novels are forgettable. But there are some, a handful or two, that brush up against greatness itself, and yet don't seem to get a ticket on the literature train.
I'm rooting for Common Core. Anything would be better than the humiliation of today's bubble-in testing.
I don't know why Nora took an interest in me. I like to think that maybe she saw her younger self in me.
I recently caught up with Ian Johnson, an old friend and sometimes co-author, and asked him some of the sorts of questions I thought he might get when he is part of an upcoming Asia Society panel on contemporary China.
The truth is that this dispute is not about saving literature or the sanctity of the literary world, it is about the publishers' business model.
About bare-knuckled politics, Beltway commentators have little to say. Ezra Klein gives us the inevitable, inexorable, crippling worldview in which the people don't exist, except in Pew polls.
Is there an epidemic of mental illness? That is the question posed by Marcia Angell in her two-part series in the New York Review of Books.
Corrosion of the public spirit of scientists and the distortion of scientific inquiry is one of the many costs of pervasive commercialization. And what's truly depressing is that the Obama FDA is only marginally better on this front than George W. Bush's.
That there is something inherent in the person to be found there -- in mental illness and addiction -- is received wisdom, not empirical fact. The belief derives from the assumption that these phenomena are medical diseases.