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. 17, No. 3, November

A Northern Renaissance at the Metropolitan
In this era of blockbuster shows, the permanent collections of the Metropolitan frequently become what we walk past on the way out of the latest event, so it's good to be reminded of how remarkable those collections are. Happily, the Met periodically...
Franz Kafka & the Trip to Spindelmuhle
There is a photograph still extant of Franz Kafka arriving in Spindelmuhle, the winter resort where on the same evening of January 27, 1922, he began writing The Castle. Like the country doctor of his own incomparable story or like the formidable Klamm...
Illusions of Equivalence
Any time a journalist or "media" person opens his mouth on a historical subject, you can be pretty sure that what comes out of it will be some version of the popular Whiggish consensus that is on display at the "Newseum" run by the Gannett Corporation...
Mark Rothko at the Whitney
In the Spring 1998 issue of Modern Painters, the painter Trevor Winkfield described Abstract Expressionism "as a monolith" that has been "accorded a reverential deference which ... seems a mite slavish, if not downright unhealthy." Winkfield was writing...
Mythmaking & the Aldo Moro Case
After twenty years, the search continues for definitive explanations and ultimate meaning in the Aldo Moro murder case. The key leader during the 1960s and 1970s of Italy's regnant Christian Democratic party, Moro died in 1978 at the hands of the Red...
Notes & Comments: November 1998
Liberal screaming Connoisseurs of sophistry and politicized intellectual mendacity will find a lot to occupy them in "Going Down Screaming," the seven-thousand-word blast against contemporary American conservatism by Andrew Sullivan that appeared...
"One Very Simple Principle"
The most mischievous errors on record ... [have been] half-truths taken as the whole. --S. T. Coleridge, Literary Remains 1838) From the winter of 1821, when I first read Bentham, ... I had what might truly be called an object in life; to be...
Pink Pigeons & Blue Mayonnaise
I have a weakness for minor artists. But they must be genuinely minor, by which I mean that they mustn't lapse into minority through overreaching, want of energy, crudity, or any other kind of ineptitude. They must not be failed major artists merely....
"Vsyo Normalno" -- in Russia
Russia, it has been truly said, lurches from crisis to crisis. The news today portends many crises to come with many unpredictable outcomes. No single perspective -- economic, political, social, historical -- explains the reality of this country of...