Author Archive

William Barrett

William Barrett

There is no royal road to learning, the ancients said; but in our culture, now, all roads seem, in one way or another, to lead...

The 19th is still a century we are struggling to extricate ourselves from. It has thus something of the ambiguity of a parental image for...

Lionel Trilling was a graceful man. I was reminded of the fact recently by happening upon an old publicity photograph that shows him bowling. I...

The artists themselves spoke of it simply as “the Club.” “Painters’ Club” was my own expression when I had to identify it for some of...

Recently, the editors of COMMENTARY addressed the following questions to a group of American intellectuals of varying political views: What role, if any, should a concern...

Philip Rahv might seem to be a figure of purely local and circumscribed interest. He was, with William Phillips, co-founder of Partisan Review in 1934,...

Had he written nothing, had his influence not been enormous over four decades of philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein would still have been one of the extraordinary...

Earlier this year, the editors of COMMENTARY addressed the following statement and questions to a group of intellectuals of varying political views: The idea that there...

Everything that exists participates in a religious essence. —E.M. Cioran What do I believe? As a philosopher, I would seem especially equipped to give an answer here,...

With certain issues raised by the presidential elections—but also with a broader context—in mind, COMMENTARY recently addressed the following questions to a group of American...

Alienation is one of the deepest themes in modern culture. It has also become, alas, one of the most hackneyed. Everybody talks about it, and...

What strikes us in reading William James now is at once how distant and yet how close to us he is. Some of his most...