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. 21, No. 3, November

Concert Notes. (Music)
Galileo Galilei, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. Philip Glass is unsure of how many operas he has written, though it is upwards of eighteen. This doesn't quite put him into the Donizetti sphere, but it does distinguish him among twentieth-century...
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Dubious Moralisms
The democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 were heralded as marking the unambiguous triumph of both the capitalist system and bourgeois liberal democracy. Francis Fukuyama famously argued that...
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"Erotic Prudery"? (Art)
If you were to choose among Francois Boucher (1703-1770), Jean-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779), Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806), and Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), Greuze is certainly the big eighteenth-century French painter who got away. He is...
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Exhibition Note. (Art)
"Stuart Davis: Art and Theory, 1920-1931" at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. September 10-December 15, 2002 Anyone familiar with the paintings of Stuart Davis (1892-1964) knows that he had a sense of humor. It's there to see in his rambunctious...
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Failures of Nerve
However tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming. --Mary Beard, about September 11 ... the greatest source of terrorism on earth. --Harold Pinter, about the United States The real matter is the extinction of America, and...
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Johnson, Boswell & the Biographer's Quest
Samuel Johnson noted the fascination of gossip, "the delight the mind feds in the investigation of secrets" and famously declared: "the biographical part of literature is what I love best." His penetrating intuition and insight into the lives of...
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Notes & Comments: November 2002
Academic freedom me but not for thee How quickly time passes! It seems only yesterday that we were reporting in this space on Annie Sprinkle's performance at The Kitchen, the supertrendy performance venue in downtown Manhattan. In fact, it was...
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Retreats into Fantasy
Returning home from a journey to Arabia in the latter part of the eighteenth century, the explorer and historian Carsten Niebuhr put in at Alexandria. Once ashore, he used an instrument for surveying the landscape. Some intrigued Egyptians asked...
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Suffer the Children. (Fiction Chronicle)
In 1996, Granta published the "Best of Young American Novelists" issue, and this list has been famous ever since. The Twenty under Forty have had varying degrees of success, and everyone thinks that someone was left off, and none of that matters...
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The European Project
It would be an exaggeration to suggest that Europe's anti-American vocation asserted itself from the start of the European Union. Had it done so, America would presumably have noticed. Instead of indulging the European infant, it might consequently...
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The Politics of Envy
Until recently, anti-Americanism attracted little serious attention among social scientists and intellectuals. Apparently it was not considered worthy of study or close scrutiny, because it was rarely seen as a pathology that required better understanding....
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The Scandal Lobby. (the Media)
Is it, or ought it to be, a legitimate plea in defense of rude or boorish or insulting behavior that it is what the rude or boorish or insulting person "really thinks"? Not many years since, I fancy, no one would seriously have maintained that it...
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Yearning to Be Liked
Let me begin with a story, a true story-the story of my one appearance on a lecture stage with Dr. Henry Kissinger. This happened, or rather failed to happen, in the month of September, 2001. The U.S. State Department runs a Foreign Visitors Program,...
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