The Unexamined Life

Mapplethorpe edited and designed by Mark Holborn and Dimitri Levas, essay by Arthur C. Danto

Altars by Robert Mapplethorpe, essay by Edmund White

Mapplethorpe: A Biography by Patricia Morrisroe

Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera by Jack Fritscher Ph.D.

Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe by Arthur C. Danto

The Mystery of Consciousness: Part II

The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul by Francis Crick

Consciousness Explained by Daniel C. Dennett

The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness by Gerald M. Edelman

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind by Gerald M. Edelman

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness by Roger Penrose

The Strange, Familiar and Forgotten: An Anatomy of Consciousness by Israel Rosenfield


Frank Kermode (1919–2010) was a British critic and literary theorist. Born on the Isle of Man, he taught at University College London, Cambridge, Columbia and Harvard. Adapted from a series of lectures given at Bryn Mawr College, Kermode’s Sense of An Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction remains one of the most influential works of twentieth-century literary criticism.

Bernard Knox (1914–2010) was an English classicist. He was the first director of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. Among his many books are The Heroic Temper, The Oldest Dead White European Males, and Backing into the Future: The Classical Tradition and Its Renewal. He is the editor of The Norton Book of Classical Literature and wrote the introductions and notes for Robert Fagles’s translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977. The translation in this issue appears in Verses and Versions, a collection of Nabokov’s translations of three centuries of Russian poetry, published this month by Harcourt. (November 2008)

Joyce Carol Oates’s memoir The Lost Landscape is published this October 2015.

Witold Rybczynski is the Meyerson Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania, and is the architecture critic for Slate. His book on American building, Last Harvest, was published in 2007.

Luc Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, and Folk Photography. He has translated Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines and written the introduction to George Simenon’s The Man Who Watched Trains Go By (both available as NYRB Classics). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College. His essay in the October 22, 2015 issue is drawn from his new book, The Other Paris, to be published in October by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

John R. Searle is the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at 
the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book is ­Making the Social World.
 (October 2014)

Garry Wills holds the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture at Emory. He is the author of The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis.