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. 24, No. 1, September

An Air Raid Siren for the Left
In London in 1937, Stefan Lorant, a Hungarian photojournalist who had served time in a Nazi prison, started a pocket-sized monthly magazine which combined English humor with European style. It was called Lilliput. Throughout the Second World War it...
British Intellectual Life Today
French intellectuals are often vain; German intellectuals are notoriously obscure; British intellectuals are merely embarrassed. But are they embarrassed to be British, or embarrassed to call themselves intellectuals? Unlike other Europeans or, for...
Cezanne & Pissarro: A Crucial Friendship
You can blame Paul Cezanne for most of the great upheaval that we call modernism in Western painting. A century ago, the great 1907 memorial exhibition organized to honor him after his death the previous year was a life-changing experience for just...
Farewell, Church of England?
As we prepare for our Harvest Festival Services, we see that what's left of the English Church is indistinguishable from a lunatic asylum. Everywhere you peer inside this once refined and educated, lovely and lovable national institution, there is...
"Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity"
"Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity" Tate Modern, London. May 26-September 18, 2005 "Frida Kahlo" Tate Modern, London. June 9-October 9, 2005 Anyone interested in the sociology of taste could hardly do better than visit London at the...
Notes & Comments: September 2005
"Oh, to be in England ..." We know what Robert Browning meant. We have long wished that The New Criterion were more readily available in England. Nor are we alone. Writing recently in The Claremont Review, the historian Paul Johnson observed that...
Potemkin Vistas
Where'll always be an England, the casual visitor may comfortingly remind himself. Outward signs seem to affirm it. Derby day, Wensleydale cheese, cricket and football, policemen in quaint helmets, Georgian brick terraces, hedgerows, country churches:...
"Robert Smithson"
"Robert Smithson" Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. June 23-October 16, 2005 We'll always have Paris. To certain American artists emerging in the 1950s, that was the problem. The School of Paris was flowering on their New York doorsteps....
Some Americans in London
There is an essay by George Orwell entitled "Decline of English Murder." Written in 1946, it celebrates--if that is the word--the golden age of British domestic homicide, which Orwell sees as running from roughly 1850 to 1925. He picks out the nine...
The End of Virtuous Albion
My wife, who is French, has lived in England for twenty-five years. When she arrived, she was both surprised and favorably struck by, among other things, the comparative uninterest, even of the rich, in material comfort and pleasures, and by the uprightness...
The People vs. the E.U.: A Status Report
The once seemingly unstoppable project of European integration, started after World War II by Jean Monnet and long backed by the State Department, appeared momentarily to have hit the buffers after decisive French and Dutch referendum defeats on the...
The Plame Game
Almost every morning as I am shaving, I hear a radio commercial of the sort that produces in me what I call the Dan Rather effect--that is, the urge to talk back to electronic boxes. The message is on behalf of a jewelers' establishment called Charleston...
The Real British Disease
There is nothing in the law of unintended consequences that dictates such consequences must be unpleasant ones (though that's the way to bet, as Damon Runyon remarked of Ecclesiastes 9:11). An unintended and beneficial consequence of the London bombings...
Trafalgar Then & Now
The many celebrations of the bicentenary of Admiral Lord Nelson's death at the battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805 tell us much about how Britons view themselves in the early twenty-first century. No one has waited until the autumn itself for the...
Two Concepts of the Moral Life
One way of tracking the movement of a civilization is to follow the evolution of thought and sentiment in the moral life. The moral life is not, of course, any particular moral system, but the daily flow of thoughts and desires we experience as we...