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. 30, No. 7, March

A Grim & Bleak Beauty
I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes With the memorials and the things of fame That do renown this city. --William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night On the night of November 14, 1940, the ancient city of Coventry was firebombed and one of...
American Art in New York
Alfred Hitchcock was famous for insisting that the cinema was a visual art, which was at its best when it told stories by means of images and not words. He once told Francois Truffaut that the very worst thing a screenwriter could say was "We'll cover...
Angry Young Man on a Ledge
There's a moment about halfway through Other Desert Cities, an inexplicably over-praised Broadway mediocrity, at which it becomes clear that we are intended to take seriously the political rantings of one of the play's characters, a washed-up, alcoholic...
Modernism's American Musketeers
What is there left to say about the New York School? Its advent, fruition, notoriety, and success are staples of twentieth-century art. So, too, is the pop-fueled backlash that followed on its heels and the daunting shadow Jackson Pollock and company...
New Poems by Robert Conquest
The poems in this portfolio are taken from Blokelore and Blokesongs, by one Fred Faraday (1917-1979), forthcoming later this year from Waywiser Press. Faraday's blokeish rhymes come to us indirectly, "as recited to"--we are told on the book's title page--the...
Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul
In her days of imperial greatness, Istanbul never lacked for writers to celebrate her beauty. If we can believe the words of poets and literary travelers like Lady Mar)' Wortley Montagu, Lord Byron, Pierre Loti, and Gerard de Nerval, it was a city of...
The Morality of Normality
Here's a straw in the wind to tell us which way the culture is trending. In its account of the appeals court decision overturning California's Proposition 8--which had during its brief existence affirmed as a matter of (state) constitutional law the...
The Multicultural Morass
First it was Angela Merkel. Back in 2010, the German Chancellor observed that the dream of multicultural harmony, according to which people of radically different backgrounds and aspirations would "live side-by-side," had "failed, utterly failed." Immigrants,...
The New Old Lie
Every so often the word goes out at Fort Leavenworth to gather along Grant Avenue. Leavenworth is not a typical military post. At most bases, young servicemen and -women dominate the population, but the focus at Leavenworth is educating midgrade officers,...
What's a Museum?
However perplexing the problems of the present and the future, however sobering the obligations laid upon the museums of America through the destruction of war, the past gives confidence for the days to come. --Winifred E. Howe, A History of the...