James

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David Foster Wallace’s Perfect Game

“Tennis” is a wonderful word in the sense that it never really existed. That is, although the game is French to the core—not one but two of France’s early kings died at the tennis courts, and the Republic was born on one, with the Tennis Court Oath—the French never called it that, tennis. They …

CrossFit, neuroscience, surviving the zombie apocalypse: Is your workout a fraud?

Advocates say CrossFit movements build actual brain power — and the science is oddly fascinating<p><i>"Every functional exercise contains an essential bit of human capacity." --</i> <i>Greg Glassman</i><p>Greg Glassman, the guy who invented CrossFit, was a gymnast who’d gone feral. He’d grown up in the San Fernando …

How to make perfect french toast

Eggy bread, pain perdu, poor knights of Windsor … whatever you call it, french toast makes a simple and delicious breakfast. But do we over-egg it on this side of the Atlantic?<p>French toast, despite the saucy-sounding name, is an eminently practical dish, designed to transform an elderly loaf into a …

How Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan saved country music

Waylon, Willie and Kris were country music renegades — but music royalty helped pave the way for their rebellion<p>The musical freedom that Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson yearned for in the late 1960s seemed out of reach in the sterile new office buildings and sagging bungalows …

Psychoanalysis as Literature: Stephen Grosz’s ‘The Examined Life’

A psychoanalyst distilled 50,000 hours of therapy into a book—Lucy Scholes says its details are worthy of the masters of fiction.<p>I’ve always found …

Nothing Funnier Than Unhappiness: A Necessarily Ill-Informed Argument for Flann O’Brien’s The Poor Mouth as the Funniest Book Ever Written

I would dearly love to be able to start this piece by saying that <i> <br>The Poor Mouth</i> is the funniest book ever written. It’d be a real lapel-grabber, for …

ALBUMS OF OUR LIVES: BOB DYLAN’S BLONDE ON BLONDE

I’m seventeen, and my Dad and I are on a train between Boston and New Haven. We’re visiting colleges, and we’ve rented a car to drive up and down the …

A Trip That Doesn’t End

Early one night in the fall of 1987, a college freshman ate half of a microdot of lysergic acid diethylamide on his way to a party. He was young, but more than a little familiar with mind-altering chemicals: LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and other, less common psychedelics. This trip, by comparison, …

Does Prozac help artists be creative?

Twenty-five years after pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly unleashed Prozac on the red-braced 80s, SSRIs are still the world's most popular …