Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. Why Lyrics Last: Evolution, Cognition, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets By Brian Boyd (Harvard University Press, 227 pp., $25.95) Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind By Mark Pagel (W.W. Norton, 416 pp., $29.95) The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present By Eric R.
Parallel Stories By Péter Nádas Translated by Imre Goldstein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1,133 pp., $40) Péter Nádas’s novel begins with the most formulaic kind of narrative device: the discovery of a corpse.