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. 28, No. 7, March

Christopher Dawson & the Coming Conflict
In 1938, fascism was on the rise in Europe, and Communism held a strong attraction for some Western intellectuals. Some believed that the establishment of totalitarian government in what is now called the Anglo-sphere was only a matter of time. The British...
Gallery Chronicle
Grandma Moses deserves more than a Hallmark greeting. The paintings by this self-taught artist should be in any museum that lays claim to the history of American art. An extensive loan exhibition on view at Galerie St. Etienne endeavors to make the case...
Knight of the White Elephant
Very few afternoons in my life compare for joy with that on which, when I was about twenty years old, I discovered the poetry of William McGonagall, who is by common consent the worst poet in the English language, unlikely ever to be overtaken in the...
Melancholy, Long, Withdrawing
Sam Mendes, the director of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, is a Hollywood parlor radical who makes meretricious films that stroke the vanities of less exalted parlor radicals, who then congratulate him on his courage--a daisy-chain of flattery,...
One or the Other
Rather surprisingly to me, the Chilcot inquiry in Britain into the causes of the Iraq War has barely registered with the cis-Atlantic media. As their recriminations and second-guessing on this very subject were all the rage during the second administration...
Sun, Sea, Sensation, Servants
The ontological argument appealed to me when I was an adolescent, not because I thought it was valid--even then I did not think that you could merely define something into existence--but because it was clever. Youth is, above all, the age of sophistry,...
The Ayn Rand Follies
Readers who peruse The New Criterion website--and we hope you are one who does--may have been arrested by the outpouring of commentary that greeted "Ayn Rand: Engineer of Souls" by Anthony Daniels in our February issue. As of this writing it has attracted...
The Diligent Hand of Florence
Tucked away within the medieval Palazzo Vecchio in Florence is a tiny chapel (barely 150 feet square) completed in the early 1540s that stands as a symbol of the city government's radical transformation in those years. For most of the preceding four...
The Dramatic Element
The subject of all art is passion, and a passion can only be contemplated when separated by itself, purified of all but itself, and aroused into perfect intensity by opposition with some other passion. --W. B. Yeats, "The Irish Dramatic Movement" And...
"Tino Sehgal": Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
"Tino Sehgal" Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. January 29-March 10, 2010 You had to hand it to the young couple simulating sex on the cold, granite floor of the Guggenheim Museum: their stamina was impressive. Trim, attractive, and fully clothed--casual,...