Books and the Arts | The Nation

Books and the Arts

Virgil Thomson with the cast of The Mother of Us All, in 1972

Drawing a Frame

In his music and his prose, Virgil Thomson perfected a whimsically deadpan sensibility.

by James Longenbach

John Lahr’s biography of Tennessee William gets mired down in psychoanalysis.
Posted Oct 28 2014 - 7:05pm
Architecture lets us speak of the spoken indirectly.
Posted Oct 28 2014 - 7:01pm
An Armenian-American writer asks if the Armenian obsession with genocide recognition is worth its emotional and psychological price.
Posted Oct 21 2014 - 5:03pm



The Fall of Icarus (1943), by Henri Matisse

With his cutouts, Henri Matisse tried to free himself from gravity.

GCHQ satellites in Bude, England, from Citizenfour

Awakening a sense of wonder and flooding a cinema with crucial realities.

Martin J. Sklar

You’ve probably never heard of Martin J. Sklar. But you should have.

Pop & Circumstance

Pop & Circumstance

Short pop: Ilana Glazer (left) and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City
October 28, 2014 - 6:57 PM ET
Joshua Clover

Film and TV are plagued by duration creep. Just like work—or unemployment.

Demonstrators, People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014, New York City
September 30, 2014 - 6:51 PM ET
Joshua Clover

Choreographed for maximum appeal, pop culture likes to say yes. History is made by those who say no.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014
September 3, 2014 - 1:43 PM ET
Joshua Clover

How “Fuck the Police” came to narrate the town’s humiliations and violations.

Shelf Life

Shelf Life

Former Chief Justice Earl Warren on the eve of his eightieth birthday, in 1971

How did “one person, one vote” become the rule for statehouses across the country?

American Expeditionary Forces secret ink lab

The secret history of invisible ink.

Orpheus (2008), by Trevor Winkfield

Trevor Winkfield is a connoisseur of the original, spare and strange.