E. Betancourt

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Can She Be Loved? On “Washington Square”

Henry James’s “Washington Square” wasn’t a particular favorite of its author. James called the short novel “poorish” and, in a letter to his daunting older brother, William, wrote, “The only good thing in the story is the girl.” Near the end of his life, when he selected work to revise for his …

Wittgenstein: Philosophy In An Hour

If we accept Ludwig Wittgenstein’s word for it, he is the last philosopher. In his view, philosophy in the traditional sense – as it had been known …

A cut above the rest

<b>As prime minister from 1979 to 1990, Margaret Thatcher transformed Britain and left an ideological legacy to rival that of Marx, Mao, Gandhi or Reagan</b><p>…

Without Architects, Smart Cities Just Aren't Smart

Arguably the biggest buzzword in urbanism right now is the 'Smart City'. The idea, although certainly inclusive of eco-friendly practices, has even …

Paris Review - Octavio Paz, The Art of Poetry No. 42

Interviewed by Alfred MacAdam<p>Issue 119, Summer 1991<p>Though small in stature and well into his seventies, Octavio Paz, with his piercing eyes, gives the impression of being a much younger man. In his poetry and his prose works, which are both erudite and intensely political, he recurrently takes up …

Some of Today’s Hottest Scientific Mysteries, Illustrated by Some of Today’s Coolest Artists

As a lover of the intersection of art and science, I find myself more excited about <b>The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science</b> (<i>public library</i>) than I’ve been about a book in ages. In this gem, as intellectually stimulating as it is visually stunning, …

William James on the Psychology of Habit

<i>“We are what we repeatedly do,”</i> Aristotle famously proclaimed. <i>“Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”</i> Perhaps most fascinating in Michael Lewis’s altogether fantastic recent <i>Vanity Fair</i> profile of Barack Obama is, indeed, the President’s relationship with habit — particularly his …