Underrated: Lust

The clarity of lust should not be mistaken for simplicity. It is both endearing and disturbing

Overrated: love

The Western idea of romantic love is a recent invention— and much less than the sum of its parts

Overrated: Intellect

"An intellectual is someone who looks at a pink party balloon and thinks of Jeff Koons"

Underrated: Instinct

If you are instinctive, you think for yourself, and find chance beautiful

Underrated: Dionysus

The orgies and drunken frenzies of the god of wine — immoderate but exhilarating

Overrated: Apollo

There is a sterile perfection in the prim and prattish god of order

Underrated: Modernism

The modernist mentality revels in optimism and opportunity

Overrated: Classicism

The default conservative reverence for ancient architecture too easily produces bogus, formulaic buildings

Underrated: Bernard Bolzano

The little-known Bolzano formed remarkably modern conceptions of logical truth and probability

Overrated: Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Austrian philosopher and 20th-century genius disabled others and inspired decades of needless self-destruction among his disciples

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens