Siri Hustvedt: Philosopher or novelist? Photograph:  Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

There are philosophers who have written novels, and novelists who imbue their work with philosophical ideas. Iris Murdoch and Albert Camus might be se(...)

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” so wrote the great Russian author Leo Tolstoy. It is the opening line t(...)

Alone in a crowd: Isolation is a problem that can be addressed by people being more present for other people.

Wandering around Eason the other day I noticed a group of young men listening with full attention to another young man who was explaining things to th(...)

 The Promenade Des Anglais’s vista is comprised of three harmonious and roughly equal parts: the turquoise and sapphire Mediterranean, the sky it is reflecting, and the bustling, palm-lined avenue against the backdrop of the city and mountains

A glamorous blonde in sunglasses and stilettos waits for her driver on the Promenade des Anglais, surrounded by bags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Am(...)

What’s the point of an essay? Photograph: Thinkstock

If you judged humanity’s literary output by clicks and outrage, you’d think the art of essayism is dead. Contemporary taste is for unadorned informati(...)

‘It can be easy to construct a narrative within our lives that leads us to focus on our own suffering.’

Self-pity is a form of self-victimisation. It can be easy to construct a narrative within our lives that leads us to focus on our own suffering. We’re(...)

‘The democratic movement is the heir to Christianity,’ said German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Photograph: Getty Images

Friedrich Nietzsche is probably the most quoted but also most misappropriated philosopher of the past century. Famously co-opted after his death by th(...)

Harry Kessler, 1906, by Edvard Munch. Photograph: © National Museums, Berlin/

Taking centre stage in Berlin was the dapper Count Harry Kessler, Germany’s original hipster. Kessler is so cool that, though dead almost 80 years, h(...)

The suicide of Stoic Roman philosopher, dramatist and statesman Seneca the Younger,  who was ordered to kill himself by Nero, and counselled that a wise person “lives as long as he ought, not as long as he can”. Photograph:  Mansell/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

“This book is not a suicide note,” declares philosopher Simon Critchley at the outset of his short, fascinating treatise on suicide. The disclaimer s(...)

Painting by Otto Dix, ‘War Cripples,’ at a Nazi exhibition of Degenerate Art at the Munich Hofgarten, July 1937. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

The German artist Otto Dix went to war, willingly. Unlike many who fought, he had no misgivings, not initially. Not for several years in fact. Patriot(...)

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