Literature

David Foster Wallace

On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, David Foster Wallace faces renewed criticism over his treatment of women, in his life and work. Fans and critics are re-reading his work, struggling to reconcile genius with misogyny.

David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece — Infinite Jest — is famously difficult to read. Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood are climbing the literary mountain of a book, and sharing their experience on a podcast called "And But So."

Tennis in the Sierpinski triangle

The most famous thing David Foster Wallace wrote is Infinite Jest, his huge, sprawling novel set in a dystopian near future. It’s a little eerie how well he predicted our world today — including the election of someone a lot like President Trump.

David Foster Wallace

Over the years, we did several interviews with Wallace himself. The last was in 2004, about his collection of short stories — "Oblivion." It’s an interview that’s been collected in two Wallace anthologies.

Albert Einstein and Mileva Marić-Einstein

There are the female scientists you can name, and the ones forgotten by history. Like Mileva Marić-Einstein. She might just have been more brilliant than Albert was — but we'll never know. 

Artificial Creativity

Machines are getting smarter. They have been for a long time. But is there anything uniquely human that they will never be able to do, like make art?

The mountain beckons

For years, David Roberts climbed some of Alaska’s biggest mountains, and made a number of first ascents. His new book is an examination of why some climbers feel compelled to push the edge of what’s possible.

Adam and Eve

We decided to trace Western culture's fixation on guilt back to one of its earliest origins — the story of Adam and Eve. It's only a page and a half in the Bible, but literary historian Stephen Greenblatt told Steve Paulson why it has been so influential.

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