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. 23, No. 1, September

"Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!"
Some time ago, I was introduced to a very interesting and engaging man, a sort of modern-day Lorenzo de' Medici, who, like his distinguished Florentine predecessor, is an accomplished (and published) poet, a major supporter of poetry, a force in the...
"Exceptionally Tasteful"?
When we look around the contemporary art world, especially at those precincts that are hailed as "cutting-edge" by the Art Establishment, we are often reminded of two passages from Robert Musil's great novel The Man Without Qualities, set in the months...
Kermit Swiler Champa, 1939-2004
No pedagogic considerations are necessary to make us do justice to the great men who led the classic movement. The furious strife between Realism and Classicism is at an end. We have dropped our battle-cries and have learnt to see something more in...
Mr. Hyde & the Epidemiology of Evil
No one feels called upon to explain, or explain away, his good deeds or qualities, which are taken to arise from his essential being as naturally and irresistibly as a river from its source, but most people feel the necessity when it comes to their...
Seurat's "Sunday" Painting
The career of the nineteenth-century French painter Georges Seurat was lamentably short; he died in 1891 at the age of thirty-one, five years after completing his most celebrated achievement--A Sunday on the Grande Jatte (1884-1886). Yet he undoubtedly...
Smug Self-Righteousness
In this election year, to be a voter watching the conversation between the media and the politicians--or, now that there are six times as many reporters as there are delegates at the party conventions, between the media and the media--is a bit like...
The Phobia of Phobias
London recently underwent a visit from Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi. A celebrated Muslim cleric, born in Egypt but based in Qatar, he had accepted an invitation to address a conference organized by the Muslim Association of Britain. Dr. al-Qaradawi (who...