Essays

Nexus has been publishing essays in Dutch on art, culture, politics and philosophy for over twenty years. Now, we are making some of the best essays from our archive available in English online. The essays are available to our members and supporters. New essays will be added regularly.

Nederlandstalige essays uit het tijdschrift vindt u aan de Nederlandse kant van de website.

Theme

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Culture, History, Politics, Society

Robert Cooper

Hope and Dover Beach

The big questions today are whether politics has been or will be captured by the forces of darkness – so that we will be robbed of our hopes and our future; and whether, having lost faith in faith, we are now going to lose faith in politics too
academy

Culture, Politics

William Deresiewicz

Wokeness on Campus: The Reign of Stupidity

There are no competing ideologies or rival schools [...] There is only assent. And when there’s but a single ideology, it isn’t just an ideology. It’s a religion. Its ideas aren’t ideas; they are dogmas.
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History, Politics

Richard J. Evans

Brexit: Refighting the Second World War

Football has sometimes been described as a substitute for war

Politics

Kate Brown

Kiss the Ground: Life Support in Controlled Environments

MIT Professor Kate Brown on how consumerism is eating away a just and livable future
Ivan-Illich

Philosophy

Humberto Beck

The Return of Ivan Illich in Times of Corona

It will depend on us whether the coronavirus will result in a new catastrophe, or in a new beginning.
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History

Simon Winder

Goodbye to History

The author of Danubia and Germania shows what we can learn from 20th-century German history.
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Humanism, Philosophy

George Steiner

The Life of the Mind

Can the life of the mind, the love of truth and beauty, be sustained in a time of materialism and mass democracy?
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History

Catherine Nixey

The Evil of Christianity

‘Good’ and ‘evil’ as fundamentally opposed came into the world with Christianity. This wasn’t good.
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Philosophy

Bernard-Henri Lévy & Aleksandr Dugin

The Return of Settembrini and Naphta in the 21st Century

Lévy and Dugin fight for the soul of Europe in the spirit of Thomas Mann’s Settembrini and Naphta.
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Philosophy

Antonio Damasio

Arcadia, But Not for Long

What should we choose: ‘Broadway Boogie-Woogie’, colorful, edgy, expanding modern urbanity – or a rustic hill overlooking an Alpine lake?
Govaert-Flinck-sherperdess-e

Literature

G.K. Chesterton

A Defence of China Shepherdesses

There are ideal conceptions and real men in every calling.

Politics

Ana Palacio

The Mutating World

Ana Palacio charts the history of the baby boomers and analyses threats to liberal democracy today.

History

Adrienne Clarkson

A Refugee’s Life

The story of how a child of Chinese refugees who came to Canada as a two-year-old became Governor-General.
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History

Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Time Ticks Away

Gopalkrishna Gandhi reflects on his childhood, his famous grandfather, and the struggle against nuclear armaments.
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History

Benjamin Ferencz

Ruminations of the Last Nuremberg Prosecutor

Benjamin Ferencz, last living prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials, on his life and work.
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Culture, Music

An Education in Counterculture

A conversation on counterculture with Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and Sean Wilentz.
lycee

Literature

Bernard-Henri Lévy

A Letter to Jean Deprun

Bernard-Henri Lévy writes to an unlikely hero: his teacher at the École Normale Superieure, Jean Deprun.
erdemir

Literature, Politics

Aykan Erdemir

Teaching Transgression

Aykan Erdemir writes to his teacher, Nalan Göker, who taught him about rules and when to break them.
wieseltier

Literature

Leon Wieseltier

The Cheese Man

Leon Wieseltier on his first encounter with philosophy in a small Brooklyn delicatessen.
PAP

Politics

Kishore Mahbubani

Letter to Mr. S. Rajaratnam

Kishore Mahbubani writes a letter to his teacher, the Singaporean statesman S. Rajaratnam.
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Politics

Colm Tóibín

Between Laughter and Despair

Colm Tóibín on Europe, the powerlessness of the European institutions and what it means to be European.
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Culture

Ágnes Heller

The Human Soul in All Its Moods

Heller on what great works she would have her students read, see and listen to in her ideal school curriculum.
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History

Adam Zamoyski

A Letter to My Teacher

Zamoyski writes to his history teacher, who awakened in him ‘a fascination with objects which could help one penetrate the past.’
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Politics

Nelofer Pazira

Of Gods and Men

‘Any future revolution in the Arab-Muslim world must be humanist in nature.’