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Stories & Literature


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Essay/
Sleep & Dreams
Broken sleep

People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?

Karen Emslie

Essay/
Philosophy of Mind
I am not a story

Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?

Galen Strawson

Essay/
Film & Television
The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Mike Jay

Essay/
Stories & Literature
The good guy/bad guy myth

Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?

Catherine Nichols

Essay/
Digital Culture
Future reading

Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. What comes next?

Craig Mod

Essay/
History of Ideas
I still love Kierkegaard

He is the dramatic thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever

Julian Baggini

Essay/
Digital Culture
Creepypasta

With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear

Will Wiles

Essay/
Cities
Me, myself and I

Loneliness can be a shameful hunger, a shell, a dangerous landscape of shadowy figures. But it is also a gift

Olivia Laing

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
The power of story

Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains

Elizabeth Svoboda

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
Physics
Parallel worlds

If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?

Andrew Crumey

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Thus spake Albert

You probably know a quote from him. He probably never said it. How did Einstein become a touchstone of all that is wise?

Andrew Robinson

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Bookish fools

The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read

Frank Furedi

Essay/
Mood & Emotion
Only the lonely

Loneliness is hell: debilitating yet formative. Can we avoid the pains of loneliness yet enjoy the pleasures of solitude?

Cody Delistraty

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Out of the deep

From Atlantis to Noah’s Ark, we have long been drawn to stories of submerged lands. What lies beneath the flood myths?

Edward Platt

Essay/
Philosophy of Religion
The atheist paradox

Now that Christianity is the dominant religion on the planet, it is unbelievers who have most in common with Christ

Adam Roberts

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Dark books

What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas

Tara Isabella Burton

Essay/
Love & Friendship
If a cat could talk

Felines walk the line between familiar and strange. We stroke them and they purr, then in a trice they pounce

David Wood

Essay/
Metaphysics
Everything and Moore

The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe

Tim Martin

Essay/
Education
The five-paragraph fetish

Writing essays by a formula was meant to be a step on the way. Now it’s the stifling goal for student and scholar alike

David Labaree