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. 27, No. 3, November

A Common What?: The Limits of Reconciliation
I'm a visiting scholar at Yale Divinity School, not a student, and as a Quaker I can't be ordained, so I delete most of the institutional email notices unread. Vestments and books on preaching and counseling can change hands at astonishingly low prices,...
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"Black Is Beautiful"
"Black Is Beautiful" De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam. July 26-October 26, 2008 As you enter the "Black Is Beautiful" exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the first words that you read are "Black people are attractive." These words produced in me, at...
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Carefully Crafted Narratives
"All week long, the images screamed financial panic," wrote Philip Kennicott in one of his trademark thumb-suckers for the Washington Post Style section. "And if it seemed the same ones were appearing over and over again, it's in part because the media...
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"Mystic Masque: Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958"
"Mystic Masque: Semblance and Reality in Georges Rouault, 1871-1958" McMullen Museum, Boston College. August 30-December 7, 2008 Georges Rouault (1871-1958) has never been a crowd-pleaser. Though he was virtually ignored by the art world for decades,...
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Nothing Succeeds like Failure
When Maurice Bowra, then a young don and not yet Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, used to introduce Cyril Connolly, a man six years his junior, he would say, "This is Connolly. Coming man." After which he paused, then added, "Hasn't come yet." Nor would...
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Sun Set
September 30, 2008, was a sad day for readers in New York. That day, the last issue of The New York Sun, the sprightly broadsheet started by Seth Lipsky, the publisher, and Ira Stoll, the managing editor, in April of 2002, landed on the doorsteps of...
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The Best & Worst of Times
I'm no great fan of what can loosely be called the Les Miz style: the bloated score with great hunks of plot and exposition sung in recitative, the large chorus muttering ominously, the cumbersome and over-designed scenery, the Pucciniesque penchant...
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The Black Holes of BHL
Here's a new definition of "intellectual" for you. It's a man (or, of course, woman) who can say something like this with a straight face: "Of course there are pragmatic considerations in every life. If you have a beloved wife who is dying, you will...
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The New Criterion Awards
As we go to press, the staff of The New Criterion is busy preparing for our second benefit art auction in New York. Our first auction two years ago, organized on the occasion of our twenty-fifth anniversary, was such a rousing success that we determined...
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