Whaling painting

Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.
Black Panther Double Consciousness

Black Panther and Double-Consciousness

Double identity, present in both Marvel's Black Panther and in the critical race theory of double-consciousness, enables black American viewers to see their two identities played out on screen.
Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany

Frederick Douglass’s Feud Over Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Journalist, physician, and committed black nationalist Martin Delany took Frederick Douglass to task over, among other things, Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Thoreau Sherlock Holmes

The Truth About Sherlock Holmes: He’s Actually Henry David Thoreau

A tongue in cheek comparison between the British fictional sleuth and the American Transcendentalist author, just because.
Victoria wedding

A Natural History of the Wedding Dress

The history of the wedding dress is shorter than the history of weddings, and even shorter still than the history of marriage.
Bob Dylan and Herman Melville

What Herman Melville Can Teach Bob Dylan about Plagiarism

Bob Dylan delivered his Nobel Prize lecture on June 4, just days before a deadline that would have ...
botticelli primavera

Ten Favorite Love Poems

Love poems by Pablo Neruda, Joyce Carol Oates, Kenneth Koch, Willie Perdomo, Robert Penn Warren, Edith Wharton, and more.
Jack London

Jack London’s Double

Catfishing, imposters, and mistaken identity are par for the course in the internet age. But it turns out ...
Dorothy Parker

How Dorothy Parker Changed Lyric Love Poetry Forever

Today is Dorothy Parker's birthday, so you should probably have a martini or two in celebration. 
Ossian Receiving the Ghosts of Fallen French Heroes, Anne-Louis Girodet, 1805

Ossian, Rude Bard of the North

Ossian once rivaled Homer in the Western literary canon. Whatever happened to him?