Recent links of note:

“The 2017 Sidney Awards, Part I”
David Brooks, The New York Times

To begin, we would like to take note of David Brooks’s recent bestowal of a 2017 “Sidney Award” on Gary Saul Morson’s piece from our October issue, “Solzhenitsyn’s cathedrals.” The Sidney Award, Brooks explains, is named in honor of the twentieth-century political philosopher Sidney Hook, and is given to “the best political and cultural essays of the year.” Brooks calls Solzhenitsyn “one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century,” and lauds Morson’s essay for “[showing] how spiritually ambitious Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was.” We at The New Criterion would like to thank Brooks for the award, and to wish congratulations upon Morson.

“Are You Sufficiently Woke?”
Dominic Green, The Weekly Standard

For the announcement of a more light-hearted year-end award, go to Dominic Green’s recent piece in The Weekly Standard, “Are You Sufficiently Woke?” Many have waited with great anticipation for the announcement of the prestigious “Weekly Standard’s Second Annual Word of the Year Awards,” which, Green reveals after an extensive review of 2017 and the “lexical flotsam and jetsam bobbing in its wake,” turns out to be “pervnado.” Declining to attempt to define this neologism ourselves, we will instead gladly urge you to “educate yourself” by reading Green’s article.

“Divine Lust”
Andrew Butterfield, The New York Review of Books

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s wonderful exhibition of drawings by Michelangelo, “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer,” continues through February 12. James Hankins, a Professor of History at Harvard University, reviewed the exhibition in The New Criterion’s December 2017 issue, but for another view, read Andrew Butterfield’s recent piece in The New York Review of Books. Butterfield emphasizes the logistical improbability that a Michelangelo exhibition of this scale could have even taken place, and consequently lauds the scholastic accomplishment of its principle curator, Carmen Bambach.

“No Ordinary Joe”
Emily Esfahani Smith, The Dartmouth Alumni Magazine

Finally, we were pleased to read a touching tribute to the life of Joe Rago written by Emily Esfahani Smith, a former Managing Editor of The New Criterion, in the alumni magazine of Dartmouth College. As many at this point surely know, Joe, a prodigiously talented writer and editor for The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page, was also a beloved friend of ours at The New Criterion through shared connections to Dartmouth and the broader field of cultural commentary. In addition to his duties at the Journal, Joe wrote our semi-annual fiction chronicle before his untimely death this past July. As Esfahani Smith notes, Joe’s bond to his alma mater was undying. It is thus fitting that so apt a remembrance has been published by the College’s alumni publication. For more on the life of Joe, read our Associate Editor Benjamin Riley’s obituary from September 2017.

From our pages:

“A warning about the Balthus warning”
Julia Friedman