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. 21, No. 2, October

A Brighter, Clearer Light
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki, translated by Barbara Bray. Princeton University Press, 404 pages, $35 There is no American counterpart to Germany's critical impresario, Marcel Reich-Ranicki. Known,...
Albert Speer: The Good Nazi?
Albert Speer was Adolf Hitler's intimate and trusted friend. Throughout the Thirties, the two met on an almost daily basis in Berlin or Munich. When relaxing in the Berchtesgaden mountains, they went by themselves on afternoon walks, rejoicing in...
Big Ben
Edmund Sears Morgan Benjamin Franklin. Yale University Press, 368 pages, $24.95 There is only one member of the Founding Generation who, even if he had never turned his hand to statecraft, would be known to posterity as more than a footnote to...
Concert Notes. (Music)
The 2002 Season at the Tanglewood Music Center, Lenox, Massachusetts Tanglewood, in western Massachusetts, has long been known as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and it has been the model for a number of other summer musical...
Debating Iraq. (the Media)
If the United States goes to war with Iraq it may be the most debated and talked-about war in history. And if there is no war, it will certainly be the most debated and talked-about non-war in history. In the old days, of course, there were probably...
"Don't Draw the Bug!" (Art)
Kafka is a great surprise, but one we have gotten used to. The surprise is that an obscure writer from Central Europe who published little during his lifetime and never finished his most ambitious works, the three novels; a difficult avant-garde...
Dubai, Havana & Choosing between Evils
Whenever I enter someone's house, I feel myself irresistibly (perhaps unresistingly would be a more honest way of putting it) drawn to his bookshelves. All flesh is grass, of course, but since Gutenberg at least, all mind is print. And absences...
Gallery Chronicle. (Art)
Apostate from abstraction; doubter of heroic "American-type" painting in the fifties and sixties; anti-progressivist champion of underdog artists from Andre Derain and Balthus to Jean Helion and Alberto Giacometti: the American painter Leland Bell...
Notes & Comments: October 2002
Campus "diversity" What quality above all others do college administrations and teachers strive to nurture on campus these days? Intellectual rigor? Not likely. That presupposes maintaining high standards, and, as we have been repeatedly told,...
The Apotheosis of Stephen Jay Gould. (Notebook)
When, in May of 2002, Stephen Jay Gould died at age sixty, a torrent of eulogy issued from the presses. Gould was a paleontologist and a writer of popular science. Some readers who were neither consumers of popular science nor adepts of left politics...
The Chastened Liberal. (Books)
The short twentieth century, beginning with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in July 1914 and culminating in the collapse of communist totalitarianism in the annus mirabilis 1989, is now behind us even if its...
The Gypsy Balladeer
Federico Garcia Lorca Collected Poems, Edited by Christopher Maurer. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 960 pages, $50 The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was once asked which were the best and worst language vehicles for his poetry in translation. After ...
Undressing the Victorians
Manners are of more importance than law.... The law touches us but here and there and now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform and insensible operation...
Victor Hugo: The Ghost in the Pantheon
Victor Hugo was born two hundred years ago this year and his countrymen have been trying ever since to contain him. They resorted first to the tried-and-true: ostracism and outrage at his brazen Romanticism followed by acclaim and fervid acceptance....