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. 3, November

A Prometheus Bound
Like the Roman, contemplating the Huns amassing north of the Rubicon in die late fourth century A.D., or an Englishman surveying the demise of the British Empire in Asia in die 1940s, today's perceptive American might be forgiven for viewing his country's...
"Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement"
"Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement" Royal Academy of Arts, London. September 17-December 11, 2011 The exhibition Degas and the Ballet succeeds in its main objective of showing how Degas's punctiliousness and openness to new styles and technologies...
Eliot's Letterbox
William Empson tells a story about Eliot and letters: "Ah, letters," he said, rather as if they were some rare kind of bird, "I had to look into the question of letters at one time. I found that the mistake ... that most people make... about...
"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960"
"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960" The Brooklyn Museum of Art. September 16, 2011-January 8, 2012 In the catalogue accompanying "Eva Hesse Spectres 1960", which is currently on view at The Brooklyn Museum, Louise S. Milne, Lecnirer at the Edinburgh College of...
Gallery Chronicle
In the development of Cubism, Georges Braque said that he and Picasso were like "two mountain climbers roped together." Braque should have cut the cord when he had the chance. For a century, Braque has been bound up in the pictorial innovations he developed...
John Addington Symonds & Janet Ross: A Friendship
Although John Addington Symonds published dozens of books during his lifetime, he's remembered primarily for the one he didn't. A protege of Benjamin Jowett at Balliol, a respected popularizer of classical and Italian subjects, a friend to the likes...
Objects 101
One glass case in particular had to be avoided. Inside it were two elaborately carved elephant tusks that I gathered were from the city of Benin, and while that itself could be explained to the line of children I was dragging along behind me, the ominous...
On Being a Southerner
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him....
Sex, Lies & Amanda Knox
Some of our neighbors had their Halloween decorations up early this year. Now that what used to be called Decoration Day has become "Memorial Day weekend" and Easter is hardly observed at all, Halloween is the new hot holiday, rivaling Christmas as the...
The 99-Percent Solution
We've always had a soft spot for Karl Marx's famous mot about Hegel's observation that history repeats itself. "He forgot to add," said the Caliph of Communism, "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." What happens, then, the third time...
Theater of Cruelty
I do not much enjoy depictions of the Great War, in literature, on film, or on stage. Even though we are as distant in time from World War I as it was from the Napoleonic Wars, there is something too modern, and therefore too familiar, about its particular...