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Intellectual life

Trash, Rock, Destroy

Is Virginie Des­pentes the French writer America needs?

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Winning the Peace

In October 1939, C. S. Lewis delivered a sermon at Oxford’s University Church, later published under the title “Learning in War-Time.” World War II had been under way for just a…

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Literary Failure

There used to be the notion that Keats was killed by a bad review, that in despair and hopelessness he turned his back to the wall and gave up the…

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Freedom from Inspiration

The fight over which of our public monuments should remain where they are is as complicated as the American past they commemorate. For all the fighting over who and what…

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Republic of Letters

From an interview in the November 28, 2018, edition of Le Monde with Élisabeth Badinter, conducted by Jean Birnbaum. Badinter is a French public intellectual and historian whose three-part history…

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The Gatekeepers

Unknown knowns: the limits of racial discourse in a system almost exclusively controlled by white people

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The Gatekeepers

On the burden of the black public intellectual

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Document of Barbarism

From The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem. The book was published last month by the University of Chicago Press. Arendt, Scholem, and Walter Benjamin were German-born Jewish philosophers.…

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Apocalypse Always

As a teenager in the Mormon Church, I was led to believe I might live to see the world end — the fallen world of sin and imperfection, that is, which…

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August 2017