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. 20, No. 7, March

Anthony Blunt: His Lives
Disbelief is the instinctive reaction to the double life of Anthony Blunt. One of the sons of the quite conventional chaplain of the embassy church in Paris. Attentive to his mother. Marlborough and Cambridge. Frequent long spells in France and Germany,...
Burke & Political Liberty. (the Survival of Culture: VII)
Politics today, though it must deal with the most serious matters, is a great deal lacking in seriousness. This is due partly to a lack of thoughtfulness among politicians: to their inability, or refusal, to appreciate the questions of principle that...
Compressed Narratives, Minute Actions. (Art)
In the hands of Picasso and Braque--the first to employ it as artistic technique--collage was a formal means of exploring and testing the limits of two-dimensionality in painting. For the Surrealists, it was, in the words of T. G. Nguyen, "a creative...
Higher Education, Berkeley Style. (Notes & Comments: March 2002)
While Stanford and UCLA have been ponying up large sums for the doodles of aging Sixties radicals, the University of California at Berkeley has been keeping the Sixties flame alive. According to a story in the February 15 issue of The Daily Californian,...
Merrill's Progress
James Merrill's Collected Poems should be read at the rate the poems were published: a book every four years or so for forty-five years. (1) His language is so rich and elaborate that most of his works require a second reading at once, rewarding the...
Petipaw. (Dance)
In his New York apartment, George Balanchine had an Audubon print of a bald eagle. It was in his living room; you can see it in the famous photographs of Balanchine playing with his cat Mourka. In these photos the cat is in the air, fully stretched...
Reporting Innuendo. (the Media)
What do you think? Is the Bush administration "hiding something or lying" about what it knows about the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation? Or are you, perhaps, the sort of sucker who just accepts things on trust and believes everything that government...
Simone Weil: A Saint for Our Time?
August 23, 2002, will be the fifty-ninth anniversary of the death of Simone Weil, a French Jew revered by many Christians as an uncanonized saint. Exegetes of diverse faiths (and none) have written at length about her mystical meditations. Andre Gide...
The "Deliberate Sense" of Willmoore Kendall. (Notebook)
It was a leisurely drive up from green and ocher Catalonia through the border town of Port-Bou to Paris, where I had an approximate date to visit Willmoore Kendall. I had read much of what he had written and arrived at the view that he was an extraordinarily...
The Rewards of Radicalism. (Notes & Comments: March 2002)
If there is one thing we know about those 1960s radicals, it is that they were idealists. Maybe they were a bit loopy; maybe they were irresponsible, drug-ingesting hedonists; but at least they were--and, those who are still with us, are--free of that...
This Way to the Egress. (Notes & Comments: March 2002)
Take one part liberal guilt about race, two parts political correctness, and add a large measure of contemporary lit-crit speak about art. Mix well in a macedoine of whatever leftist political cliches are current this week and, presto! out comes Okwui...
Whither the "Philadelphia Sound"?
It is hardly surprising news that, in today's fragmented performing arts environment, the centrality of the symphony orchestra in the civic world is in severe jeopardy. Certain cities, with a history of important symphony orchestras, have managed to...