It mystifies me that, continuing under the editorship of Roger Kimball as previously under that of Hilton Kramer, The New Criterion persists in intermittently admiring in the visual arts the very decline and fall of culture that it so well and rightly militates against in government, politics, theater, music, and the media. Not seven pages after the editor, in his obituary “Jacques Barzun, 1907–2012” (The New Criterion, December 2012), gives with one hand by approving of Jacques Barzun’s apt indictment of the modern art scene—“ ‘When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is...


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