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. 25, No. 8, April

Eyes on Hanover
Anyone who cares about the state of higher education in this country should cast a wary eye upon what is happening just now at Dartmouth College. Since the late nineteenth century, the college has turned to its alumni for nearly half of its board of...
Frost's "Road" & "Woods" Redux
Much of the recent talk about "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost's famous poem of 1916, centers on whether the speaker's choice of road really makes "all the difference." The going view is not just that is doesn't, but that it couldn't. The poem's...
"George Stubbs: A Celebration": The Frick Collection, New York
"George Stubbs: A Celebration" The Frick Collection, New York. February 21, 2007-May 27, 2007 When George Stubbs arrived in London from the north, about 1759, he was already thirty-five and had been a practicing artist for at least fifteen years....
"Hogarth": Tate Britain, London
"Hogarth" Tate Britain, London. February 7, 2007-April 29, 2007 It is clear from the major new exhibition in London's Tate Britain that the artist William Hogarth was seriously politically incorrect. His famous satirical series of pictures and prints...
"Martin Munkacsi: Think While You Shoot!" International Center of Photography, New York
"Martin Munkacsi: Think While You Shoot!" International Center of Photography, New York. January 19, 2007-April 29, 2007 In the early 1930S, the photographer Martin Munkacsi (the family name was Mermelstein) rescued the genre of fashion photography...
Mr. Libby to You
"There will be a great deal written and said in coming days about the frustrations of the Scooter Libby verdict...." So read the opening clause of the thoughtful editorial by The New York Times on the subject, which itself went on to be every bit as...
No Place
Americans are not comfortable with abstract ideas. Neither, for that matter, are the English, and a theater of ideas has never prospered in London or New York, despite the anomalous success of George Bernard Shaw. Continental Europe's passion for political...
Remembrance of Things Past
If the path to hell is really paved with good intentions, as my father always maintained, then the organizers of the raucous survey "High Times/Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975" at the National Academy Museum, should prepare themselves for an...
Robert Bridges's New Cadence
Robert Bridges (1844-1930) is perhaps the most conspicuous example of that faintly alarming figure, the happy poet. His strenuously archaic diction, his eccentric devotion to syllabic and quantitative measures, his bizarre attempts to simplify English...
The Amis Country
First of all: that's Kingsley not Martin, the author of Lucky Jim not Yellow Dog, which may strike some readers as atavistic (and even a little quaint), given how fully Amis the Second has deposed Amis the First in the literary press. Still, Zachary...
The Enduring Specter of E.A. Robinson
It has been a long while--seventy-two years, to be exact--since Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) was hailed in his obituaries as America's foremost poet. In recent times, his work has been tacitly dismissed as old hat. Few current candidates for...
The Haunting
"But I was happy so puzzled it interests me." No, it's not a line from E. E. Cummings. It comes from a letter the dance critic and poet Edwin Denby sent to Jerome Robbins after the 1974 premiere of his ballet Dybbuk. Denby was no longer reviewing...
The New York Fairs
A sea change is taking place in American taste. This thought occurred to me as I worked a table of hors d'oeuvre at a Chicago dinner party a few years ago. The apartment in which I stood was decidedly Gold Coast. In New York, we might call it "pre-war";...
"Victorian Bestsellers": Morgan Library & Museum, New York
"Victorian Bestsellers" Morgan Library & Museum, New York. January 26-May 6, 2007 "Bestseller" is a relatively recent coinage. It doesn't even appear in the first edition of the OED. The Supplement's first citation is from 1911, given an American...
Wise Words from Bernard Lewis
Last month, the great scholar of Islam Bernard Lewis gave the Irving Kristol Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lewis's subject was Islam and Europe, and we thought it worth sharing some central bits of his sober assessment....