Lionel Trilling, c. 1970

Twas Thrilling When Trilling Wrote a Blurb

The renowned literary critic famously withheld his imprimatur from the books of peers and students, with two notable exceptions. What do they reveal?
Gwendolyn MacEwen

Remembering Gwendolyn MacEwen

The Canadian poet was inspired by everything from Ancient Egyptian mythology to folk magic, from Gnosticism to global politics.
Mary Wollstonecraft

Was This Book the Original Eat, Pray, Love?

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark was arguably the most popular book ever written by Mary Wollstonecraft.
The dwarf Gimli from the film 'The Lord Of The Rings', 1978.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s Jewish Dwarves

The peoples of Middle Earth weren’t just a product of Tolkien’s creative mind; they were shaped by the anti-Jewish culture that surrounded him.
Fred Astaire

Albums: What a Concept!

Long-playing records ushered in the era of the soundtrack, but they also made room for something else—the concept album.
Federal Theatre Project presents "The drunkard or the fallen saved" Originally produced by P.T. Barnum in his museum

Temperance Melodrama on the Nineteenth-Century Stage

Produced by the master entertainer P. T. Barnum, a melodrama about the dangers of alcohol was the first show to run for a hundred performances in New York City.

Cultivating the Art of Slow Looking

When we examine the subject, foreground, and background of an image separately, the nuances of the scene emerge.
Bill Clinton plays the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show, 1992

The Late-Night Circuit: Why Do Politicians Do It?

With a captive audience of millions and a relaxed atmosphere, the late-night talk show offers a good opportunity to make policy discussions more memorable.
A still from "Both Sides Now" by Kandy Fong

The Feminist Art Roots of Fan-Made Videos

Though vidding is now generally a part of online culture, it originated in the grassroots editing efforts of female television fans.
Jean-Paul Sartre in front of a swirling background of red crabs

That Time Jean-Paul Sartre Got High on Mescaline

The French existentialist got more than he bargained for when he went in search of drug-induced inspiration for his philosophical writings.