People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?
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?
The reality show
Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense
Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. What comes next?
With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear
Me, myself and I
Loneliness can be a shameful hunger, a shell, a dangerous landscape of shadowy figures. But it is also a gift
The power of story
Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains
If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?
The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read
I still love Kierkegaard
He is the dramatic thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever
Only the lonely
Loneliness is hell: debilitating yet formative. Can we avoid the pains of loneliness yet enjoy the pleasures of solitude?
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?
The atheist paradox
Now that Christianity is the dominant religion on the planet, it is unbelievers who have most in common with Christ
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
Everything and Moore
The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe
We yearn for silence, yet the less sound there is, the more our thoughts deafen us. How can we still the noise within?
What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas
The art of attention
The peculiar vividness of the world becomes clear when we slow down and attend, learning to see all things anew
Seeing and believing
UFO sightings are down. Ghosts are in decline. Are we more discerning now, or just afraid to trust anything?
The real Casanova
His name is synonymous with serial seduction but Casanova's memoirs reveal a man greater than the sum of his ‘conquests’