New Criterion

A magazine that publishes articles, notes and comment on cultural life in America. Publishes contributions from poets, authors, public policy scholars, humanities lecturers, and critics. Includes poetry, arts criticism, and commentary. Departments in thea

Articles from Vol. 16, No. 5, January

Chicago's New Sound
"Make no little plans" was the advice of Daniel Burnham, the man who, in 1903, designed and built the original Orchestra Hall, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Whatever other reservations can be voiced about the current management of the orchestra,...
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Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande
Pelleas et Melisande, by Claude Debussy, at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco. With each passing day, it seems ever more certain that Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande (1902) will be considered not just the first great opera of the twentieth...
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Europhiles & "Little Englanders"
The issue of Europe, which tore the Conservative Party in two, will not go away simply because the Tories are out of office. For it is deeper than politics, and concerns the whole past and future of our country. The habit has arisen of dividing people...
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Flipping Our Whigs
My plan this month--to return to the subject I touched on last June, of history in the eyes of the journalist--suffered a blow when I tuned in to The Fifties, a series based on David Halberstam's book of the same name, which ran on the History Channel...
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Franck: Psyche,
Psyche, by Cesar Franck, at the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center, New York. Psyche, the last and most ambitious of Cesar Franck's poemes-symphoniques, has had more than its share of bad luck. The piece was initially welcomed by critics when...
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Letters
Ronald Knox as translator To the Editors: Paul Dean's essay on Ronald Knox (September 1997) was a most welcome reconsideration of the man and his work. But I must take exception to the suggestion made, in connection with Dean's account of the...
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Notes & Comments: January 1998
"God Decentralized" "Of all horrible religions," G. K. Chesterton once observed, "the most horrible is the worship of the god within.... That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones." We...
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Peddler's Diary
Vaudeville isn't dead. But the traditional song-and-dance men, jugglers, animal acts, and stand-up comics have been displaced by jet-lagged authors, a far less entertaining bunch, who will read from their works in bookshops on the circuit, wherever...
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Richard Diebenkorn at the Whitney
Long the bellwether of twentieth-century painting and sculpture, the Museum of Modern Art has had a substantial influence on how we view the modernist enterprise. Under the guidance of Alfred Barr, MOMA's founding director, the museum rooted itself...
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"Stanley Spencer: An English Vision"
"Stanley Spencer: An English Vision" at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. October 9, 1997-January IL 1998. When, in 1980, the Royal Academy in London mounted a mammoth retrospective of the paintings and drawings of the English painter Stanley...
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Telling Lies about History: "The Fifties" on Television
Criticism, of course, cannot prevent lies from being told. But it does make it its business to see that they do not establish themselves as truth. --George Watson, The Literary Critics It is a melancholy task to return to the subject of David...
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"Ten Paintings"
"Ten Paintings by Paul Cezanne Formerly in the Auguste Pellerin Collection" at Sotheby's, New York. November 7-November 12, 1997. One of the best shows in recent months lasted less than a week. I mean the exhibition in November of ten paintings...
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The Destruction of Paris
A few years ago, Eric Rohmer made a movie about the mayor of a village in the Vendee who decides that what his picturesque hamlet needs is not a new library but a mediatheque, an untranslatable word for a fashionable multimedia boondoggle. A mediatheque...
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The Liberal Capitulation
Perhaps no phenomenon more vividly epitomizes America's cultural revolution than the student uprisings that swept across college and university campuses from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s. What began in 1964 with demonstrations by members of...
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