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. 1, September

America Resumed: 9/11 Remembered
If asked to describe the cultural legacy of World War One, you might cite Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms or George M. Cohan's rousing but now forgotten "Over There." Or perhaps the poignant battle monuments of the American Expeditionary Force, of which...
Beauty Locked Out
Jane Austen may have died in 1817, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the fact, such is the continuing enthusiasm for everything associated with her. Jane Austen societies and websites abound, and hardly a publishing season goes by without...
Blunder at the Biennale
The United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has always been a tool of American propaganda. The question is what message to send. Every two years, the U.S. Department of State produces an exhibition in Venice with art that it purports to select...
Crooked Lines
W. H. Auden got it dead wrong when he wrote of Paul Claudel in his celebrated "In Memory of W. B. Yeats" of 1939: Time that with this strange excuse Pardoned Kipling and his views, And will pardon Paul Claudel, Pardons him for writing well....
G. K. Chesterton: Master of Rejuvenation
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. --Genesis The ordinary modern progressive position is that this is a bad universe, but will certainly get better. I say it is certainly a good universe, even if it gets worse....
"Kurt Schwitters: Color & Collage"
"Kurt Schwitters: Color & Collage" University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. August 3-November 27, 2011 When is a Dadaist not Dada enough? In spite of having produced several Dada drawings and prints, Kurt Schwitters...
Last of a Magic Breed
The death of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor on June 10 at age ninety-six has been mourned in virtually every major newspaper in the English-speaking world. He has been celebrated as the last of a magic breed, the Byronic hero, a man of action who was also...
Points of View
It is a powerful exhibition that upsets a tenet of one's entire worldview, and that is precisely what the photographs of Daniella Rossell, on show at the forty-second Rencontres d'Arles, did to one of mine. The Rencontres is an annual festival of photographic...
Pound Notes
It is inconceivable that a collected edition of Pound's letters will be published within die next twenty, thirty, or forty years, if by "collected" we mean all the letters, displayed in chronological order with full annotation. This assertion is not...
Shakespeare in the Dark
Summer is a time for Shakespeare in the Park, but this summer it was Shakespeare at the Armory, with the Royal Shakespeare Company camped out on Park Avenue offering up Julius Caesar, As You Like It, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet....
"Simon Dinnerstein: The Fulbright Triptych & Selected Works"
"Simon Dinnerstein: The Fulbright Triptych & Selected Works" The German Consulate General, New York. June 16-September 15, 2011. Simon Dinnerstein's painting The Fulbright Triptych has provoked many interpretations. Let me offer another. When Dinnerstein...
Stephen Crane's Strange Singing
One afternoon back in the 1970s, I was browsing through the sale table at the Cornell University bookstore when a shopworn paperback caught my eye: The Complete Poems of Stephen Crane. I remember saying to myself, "The author of The Red Badge of Courage...
"The American Style: Colonial Revival & the Modern Metropolis"
"The American Style: Colonial Revival & the Modern Metropolis" The New York Historical Society. June 14-October 30, 2011. "The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis," which runs at the Museum of the City of New York through October,...
The Bright Ghosts of Antiquity
The gist of an old joke--it has a dozen local iterations--is that the Loeb Classical Library translations are so baffling that you have to consult the original Greek or Latin on the left-hand page to decipher the English translation on the right. Funny...
The Incivility of Civility
Writing in these pages last February, I noted the irony of a complaint by some on the left, most notably Paul Krugman, about the allegedly incendiary rhetoric of the right when the complaint itself took the form of an accusation that those whom it condemned...
The New Criterion at 30
With this special expanded issue, The New Criterion begins its thirtieth season as a monthly review of culture and the arts. This is a significant accomplishment for any serious monthly; for one that has been as outspoken and heterodox as The New Criterion,...
The Past Is a Foreign Country
Dreimal 100 Professoren--Vaterland, du bist verloren. --Satire from the 1849 Frankfurt Parliament Shoot more professors. --V. I. Lenin. British radicals of all sorts--declasse aristocrats and proletarian revolutionaries, the privileged and the...
The Pious Provincial
Certain artists, and not necessarily the most accomplished or significant, are occasionally accorded a privileged stature in the contemporary popular imagination. They inhabit an exalted realm of myth, romance--or as is fashionable today, "cult"--that...
The Ruler of Law
"Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen." Barack Hussein Obama had been president of the United States for all of two months. He was lecturing the titans of American finance who were struggling to explain--to a man with no meaningful business...
These Are the Poems, Folks
Stand-up comedian Tony Campanelli confessed Monday to the Feb. 26 killing of 180 comedy-club patrons during a performance at Crack-Ups in Royal Oak.... "Man, I killed 'em," the 33-year-old Campanelli told Royal Oak police interrogators. "You shoulda...
"The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World."
The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World" Tate Britain, London. June 14-September 4, 2011. "The Vorticists" is a comprehensive overview of the paintings, sculpture, designs, and verbiage of Britain's brief avant-garde flourish that began just before...
What's Wrong with Our Universities?
This fall more than 19 million students will enroll in the 4,000 or so degree-granting colleges and universities now operating in the United States. College enrollments have grown steadily year by year, more than doubling since 1970 and increasing by...