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. 3, November

Among Gods and Kings
An affectionate couple, carved out of ivory, is the first thing you see upon entering Asia Society's eclectic, idiosyncratic, and utterly absorbing exhibition "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India: Selections from the Polsky Collections."...
Capote Reconsidered
When Truman Capote died in 1984, just before his sixtieth birthday, his life had been in a shambles for years. The phenomenal success of In Cold Blood (1966) fulfilled all his dreams, but at that moment he began inexplicably to implode. His crack-up...
Gallery Chronicle
Like Dior, fondu, and the permanent wave, painting is back, they say. Get your paintings out of the closets, ladies, and hang them with pride. But is painting merely a fashion statement? Several new shows raise the question. One artist who has made...
Notes & Comments: November 2004
Derrida declawed When the French philosopher Jacques Derrida died last month at seventy-four, the response was loud, passionate, and predictably divided according to demographic origin. If the response came from outside the academy, it tended to...
Opera Note
Don Giovanni, Simon Boccanegra, Beatrice and Benedict, Agrippina & La Sonnambula at the Santa Fe Opera. The Santa Fe Opera had modest beginnings in the late 1950s: open-air seating, a reflecting pool behind the orchestra pit, and the mandatory...
Outraged Intellectuals
On the morning of the second presidential "debate" between President Bush and Senator Kerry, I woke up to the sounds of Bob Schieffer exulting on the radio. This debate, the one in town hall format from St. Louis, wasn't even the one he was to moderate...
Saintly Institutions? Notes on a Modern Prejudice
Sometimes I think all the trouble in the world is caused by intellectuals who have an "idea." --David Hare, Stuff Happens Saints should always be judged guilty until proven innocent, though the tests that have to be applied to them are not, of...
The Lessons of "Lonelyhearts"
The social significance of an idea is not necessarily proportional to its truth, its coherence, or even its comprehensibility. In his introduction to a new edition of Warrant for Genocide, which is the history of the concoction of The Protocols of...
The Memory of Donald Justice
The greatest confluence of all is that which makes up the human memory--the individual human memory.... The memory is a living thing--it too is in transit. But during its moment, all that is remembered joins, and lives--the old and the young, the past...
Thom Gunn, 1929-2004
Leaving aside the fact that there will always be some who disapprove of Thom Gunn on principle, it would be easy to read his life and career as a cautionary tale: the young poet of prodigious assurance and power, a modern Metaphysical, who squandered...
World Literature in 1928
How all seventeen volumes of an early twentieth-century edition of the Columbia University Course in Literature came to Africa, eventually to appear in a Cape Town thrift shop, might be an interesting story in itself. But I have no room in my curiosity...