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. 2, October

America's Wake-Up Call
History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it. ...
Bring Back the Duel!
As is well known, members of Parliaments with rules derived from those of the mother of Parliaments are forbidden from using the word "liar" or "lie" to refer to other members or their remarks. You can see why this rule is a necessary one. The charge...
Clyfford Still: The Importance of Being Earnest
An artist of Old Testament passions, far more alien to the current mindset than his contemporaries among the Abstract Expressionists, Clyfford Still seems an impossibly remote figure. Considering his achievements requires us to confront a spectacle...
"Czech Cubism, 1912-1916" at the Rupertinum, Salzburg. July 21-October 7, 2001
Perhaps the second most common complaint one hears from people who patronize movie theaters today concerns volume: the soundtrack is much, much too loud. (The most common complaint, of course, has to do with the poor quality of most new movies.) An...
Der Kaiser Von Atlantis
Der Kaiser von Atlantis, by Viktor Ullmann, at the Cincinnati May Festival. Among the more inspiring musical revelations of recent years has been the rediscovery of so-called entartete Musik ("degenerate music"), the works of composers banned by...
More & More Mies
Two immense and comprehensive exhibitions of the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)--one at the Museum of Modern Art(1) and one at the Whitney Museum of American Art(2)--have just departed from New York for international venues. Why...
Philosophers as Radicals
The association between philosophy and radicalism is an ancient one and in some ways a natural one. Philosophy is in one sense an intrinsically revolutionary activity, simply because its goal is to put received authority into question. Its interrogatory...
Salzburg 2001: Mortier's Last Stand
This year saw the tenth and last Salzburg Festival under the artistic direction of Gerard Mortier, and the operas presented in the first part of that festival gave a reasonable picture of the strengths and weaknesses of Mortier's reign. A firebrand...
The Battle of the Book: The Research Library Today
In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England and France a boisterous debate, traditionally known as the "Battle of the Books" raged for many decades. The issue at stake was one of style: should we accept the "Antients" (to use Jonathan Swift's spelling)...
The Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters: A Selection
Roger Hudson, editor, The Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters: A Selection. The Akadine Press, 384 pages, $35 Who says we should never complain? Consider the following. In October 1955 George Lyttleton, a retired Eton master, then seventy-two, was dining...