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. 16, No. 10, June

Activism & Architecture: A Tale of Two Cities
In the popular mythology of the Sixties, few episodes loom as large as the SDS-led student takeover of Columbia University. On April 23, 1968, protesters seized five buildings and under the scrutiny of the world brought a distinguished university in...
Confessional Poetry & the Artifice of Honesty
[To] stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,... --Allen Ginsberg, "Howl" Honesty, little slut, must you insist...
Emotions of Virtue
The simplest yet most universal formulation surely remains the widely shared feeling that in the 60s, for a time, everything was possible; that this period, in other words, was a moment of universal liberation, a global unbinding of energies. --Fredric...
Letters
Richler's version To the Editors: I'm sorry Mordecai Richler didn't enjoy his book tour--or his lunch with me ("Peddler's Diary" January 1998). But, when novelists dip into journalism, I suggest they invest in a notebook and pen. Maybe in Mr....
Notes & Comments: June 1998
Marxism as farce A specter is haunting the intellectual classes--not exactly the specter of Communism, however, so much as the specter of an irresistible wave of nostalgia for a time when Marxism and its utopian myth of the classless society held...
Politics about Nothing
If anything so emphatically and inescapably present as television could be said to have a history, the final episode of "Seinfeld" is destined for an honored place in its oxy-moronic annals, if only because of the record $1.5 million and upwards it...
Soutine at the Jewish Museum
Walking through the exhibition "An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine." I was put in mind of the philosopher Susanne K. Langer and her book Problems of Art, published in 1957.(1) In a chapter titled "Expressiveness" Langer differentiates...
The Emperor of Ice Cream
Britain over the past year or so, ever since Labor was returned to power in May 1997, has presented a strange spectacle: we have had a government encouraging a people to declare war on its own culture. The campaign has taken many forms, but it is best...
The Kirov Opera at the Met
The Kirov Opera Festival at the Met requires some discussion of nomenclature.(1) St. Petersburg's principal opera house, the Mariinsky, rebuilt in its present form in 1860, was baptized after one of Russia's empresses; its name, like that of the city...
The Problem of Democratic History
Historians who write in aristocratic ages are inclined to refer all occurrences to the particular will and character of certain individuals; and they are apt to attribute the most important revolutions to slight accidents. They trace out the smallest...
Victor Hugo: The Dangerous Master
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) was--and is--altogether too much. A prolific lyric and epic poet of stunning technical mastery, he was also a controversial dramatist (some of his plays have survived as subjects for operas of Donizetti, Verdi, and Ponchielli)....