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. 8, April

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes. (Letter from Paris)
One of the questions that always crosses my mind when I visit Paris is, What do unintelligent or uneducated people read there? Certainly, the daily newspapers cannot meet their requirements: Le Monde, Liberation, Le Figaro (to say nothing of L'Humanite)...
Another Tony. (Letters)
To the Editors: In response to John Gross's interesting account of the current mood in London ("A Tale of Two Tonies" March 2003), I should like to point out that there are British pro-American conservatives who are, nonetheless, opposed to the...
Gallery Chronicle
The art world has traded the name of William Bailey as a hushed code word for thirty years. A code word for what? Well, for the legitimacy of painting, for realism, for the return of the nude, for an indifference to the art of the moment. A professor...
Lessons from Juvenal
It is difficult not to write satire.--Juvenal, on the Rome of his day J'ai en ce moment une forte rage de Juvenal. Quel style! quel style! --Flaubert, in a letter of 1853 Satire, if it is to do any good and not cause immeasurable harm, must be...
"Manet/Velazquez" at the Met. (Art)
Was it happenstance, luck, or careful planning that brought two exhibitions linking French and Spanish masters to New York at just about the same time this winter? Whether it was by chance or design that "Matisse Picasso" at MOMA QNS was scheduled...
Notes & Comments: April 2003
Junk Mailer Many readers will remember what The New York Review of Books was like in the late 1960s and 1970s. It carried many thoughtful articles on a wide variety of literary and intellectual matters. It also promulgated a virulently anti-American...
Poetic Licence. (Letters)
To the Editors: I wish to thank William Logan for the time and effort expended in his review of my recent book, Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest ("The real language of men," December 2002). However, the review contains a few factual...
Poetry: A Prognosis
I think it's a fair bet that if you asked most people on this side of the Atlantic who claim to enjoy reading poetry who their favorite pre-twentieth-century English language poets are, they'd say "Donne and Emily Dickinson": on the other side of the...
Rather Not. (the Media)
Fifty-seven boxes were recently returned to the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya in Zeit trucks--large Russian military vehicles--by the Iraqi government authorities. Each box contained a dead child, eyes gouged out and ashen white, apparently drained of...
Shadow Language
Of all the theses advanced to explain the incomparable abundance of Shakespeare's language, perhaps the most audacious--and certainly the wackiest--is that propounded some forty years ago by an Iraqi professor at the University of Baghdad. In a massive...
The Place of Poetry
My grandfather was a self-made man, a child of immigrants, and a dandy. In later life, he lined his closets with neckties and waistcoats, with bowler hats and two-toned bucks. He enjoyed cutting a figure, as they say, and fancied himself a public man,...
The War to Begin All Wars
Military history has not been very popular after the Vietnam War. Perhaps the unease is because war itself is felt to have little utility in a postmodern world. No longer are disagreements said to arise from good squared off against evil, but rather...
Who Was Simon Raven?
Novelists who achieve a cult status write, by definition, for a narrow and usually specialist readership, and while their books are not for everyone, they attract certain passionate partisans. One cult figure, the English novelist, journalist, and...
Winters's Curse
"A critic may even be specifically wrong yet theoretically right. Paul Elmer More, for instance, damns all modern literature with one irritated and uncomprehending gesture; he is academic and insensitive. The tragedy of it is, that most modern writers...