Juan Etienne Terblanche

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‘Self and Soul’: Mark Edmundson’s biting critique of modern complacency

The only thing in Mark Edmundson’s new book that isn’t provocative is its title. “Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals” sounds earnest, high-minded and dull, probably a worthy academic study revisiting territory mapped out long ago by Matthew Arnold and Lionel Trilling.<p><i>Wrong</i>. What you will find …

Closed Minds on Campus

Today’s student protesters start with valuable observations, writes John H. McWhorter, but then they drift into a mistaken idea of what a university—and even a society—should be<p>From the aggrieved pitch of recent student protests against racism, the naive observer might be surprised that we are now …

A true scientific revolution: the triumph of mathematicians over philosophers

The moment it was accepted that Aristotle had not been right about everything was a crucial turning point in the history of science.<p>The early-modern …

T.J. Clark · It stamps its pretty feet

The longer I looked at the painting the more I was drawn to the dialogue taking place, sotto voce, between the over-coloured count and his shadowy …

In search of the zeitgeist

It is ironic that today’s zeitgeist involves a turning away from Enlightenment principles, because the idea of a zeitgeist was first developed by …

The Greatness of William Blake

Those Who Write for Immortality: Romantic Reputations and the Dream of Lasting Fame<p>by H.J. Jackson<p>Yale University Press, 294 pp., $35.00<p>Eternity’s …

T S Eliot and the sexual wasteland

The poet had a tangled relationship with the erotic, once remarking that however intimate a love poem may be, it is meant to be overheard.<p>For most of …

‘You Stink,’ He Explained

A<p>I <br>f the reason academic arguments are waged at a pitch of such high intensity is that the stakes are so low, the reason writers are so disputatious …

A Hemingway Surprise

Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars<p>an exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York City, September 25, 2015–January 31, 2016<p>In the early …

Real, Realist, Realistic, and False

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Sheila Heti, Tao Lin: When did we start calling memoir “literary fiction,” and why? The roman à clef predates these contemporary …

‘Based on a true story’: the fine line between fact and fiction

From Kapuscinski to Knausgaard, from Mantel to Macfarlane, more and more writers are challenging the border between fiction and nonfiction. Here Geoff Dyer – longtime master of the space between, in books such as But Beautiful and Out of Sheer Rage – argues that there is no single path to ‘truth’ …

How and why exactly did consciousness become a problem? – Margaret Wertheim

Growing up in Australia, I loved to lie on the grass, immersed in the scent of wattles, and stare up at the sky. A sky like no other; a deeper, …

Mary-Kay Wilmers · What a Mother: Marianne Moore and Her Mother

Mary Warner Moore – the mother in question – had scarcely had a mother, which must be to the point. The one she was born to died two years later and …