Volume 23 Number 1. September 2004, Page 1
On the vanishing distinction between the “transgressive” and the “merely repellent” at SITE Santa Fe.
On the vanishing distinction between the “transgressive” and the “merely repellent” at SITE Santa Fe.
On the new trend of “casino and gambling majors” in universities across the country.
On a few staff changes here at The New Criterion.
On the passing of a poet and a long time contributor to The New Criterion.
On Professor Martha Nussbaum’s polemic against shame and disgust & why these emotions “are accomplices, not impediments, to that attack on hubris.”
On Michael Barber’s unauthorized Anthony Powell: A Life.
On Francesco Petrarch’s love, hate, and precision of feeling.
On a persistent misunderstanding of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
On Gregory Boyd’s revival of Noel Coward’s Design for Living, three one-act plays by Michael John LaChiusa & Nicholas Martin’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
On “‘Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!’: The Bruyas Collection from the Musée Fabre, Montpellier” at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.
On Seurat and the Making of “La Grande Jatte” at the Art Institute of Chicago.
On a final batch of conductors from the series titled Great Conductors of the 20th Century including Eduard van Beinum, Rudolf Kempe, Rafael Kubelik, Sergiu Celibidache, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Arturo Toscanini & George Szell.
On “the precipitous decline in the quality and intelligence of the political dialogue in our democracy.”
On the passing of Kermit Swiler Champa, an art historian and professor of art history at Brown University.
On Mayor Livingstone’s embrace of Dr. al-Qaradawi & Islamophobia as “the most dangerous of current social evils.”
A review of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography, by William F. Buckley, Jr.
A review of Anti Chomsky Reader by Peter Collier.
A review of The Expert versus the Object: Judging Fakes & False Attributions in the Visual Arts, edited by Ronald D. Spencer.
A review of The Case of Comrade Tulayev, by Victor Serge, translated by Willard R. Trask, introduction by Susan Sontag.
A review of Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories, and the Mystery of Making Things Up, by Barbara Feinberg.
A review of Thank You for Not Reading: Essays on Literary Trivia by Dubravka Ugresic.
A review of Reliquiæ Trotcosienses, by Sir Walter Scott.
A review of Multitude, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s second collaboration.
On a new printing of Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason.
A review of Americans in Paris, the new Library of America anthology.
A review of Hotel Bemelmans, from the author best known for his Madeline books.
On Lewis H. Lapham’s recent article titled “Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill”; a fantasy of disturbing proportions.
On U. S. foreign policy in the post-Cold-War world.
Who will be the next assoluta in the ballet world?
On the cult of Ernesto Che Guevara; irrational reflection “kept alive by a good dose of commercialism.”
On two “schools” of reading “the mother of all novels.”
On John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps.
On Nicolas Kent and Sacha Wares’s New York production of Guantanamo & William Gibson’s Golda’s Balcony at the Helen Hayes.
On “Scott LoBaido” at Tribute Gallery; Will Cotton at Mary Boone Chelsea Gallery; “Modern Masters” at Salander-O’Reilly; “Lois Dodd: Flashings” at Alexandre Gallery; Joan Mitchell at Mary Ryan Gallery; “Under the Influence” at Barbara Mathes Gallery & Ai Weiwei at Robert Miller Gallery.
On this year’s Salzburg Festival, including the Czech Philharmonic and Chorus conducted by Gerd Albrecht, a recital by singer Violeta Urmana, and Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt.
On “the absence of any shame in self-contradiction among our journalistic and political controversialists today”
On the passing of Czeslaw Milosz, “a writer of multiple achievements but also a prophet of liberation for whom the individual exercise of disabused memory came to constitute a spiritual vocation.”
A review of Duveen: A Life in Art, by Meryle Secrest.
A review of The Road to Reality : A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe by Roger Penrose.
A review of Deceiving the Deceivers: Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and Guy Burgess, by S. J. Hamrick & The Private Life of Kim Philby, by Rufina Philby.
A review of A Rage for Rock Gardening: The story of Reginald Farrer, by Nicola Shulman.
A review of Gilgamesh, translated by Derrek Hines & Gilgamesh: A New English Version, translated by Stephen Mitchell.
Roger Kimball on The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street: Letters between Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill, 1952-1973, edited by John Saumarez Smith.
Stefan Beck on In the Shadow of No Towers, by Art Spiegelman.
On the unsurprisingly pious eulogizing of Jacques Derrida who died last month at 74.
On the choice of Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian novelist and playwright, as this year’s Nobel laureate for literature.
On some “saintly” and “demonized” institutions and individuals.
On the gifted and troublesome Truman Capote.
On the lessons of suffering we can learn from Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts.
On the passing of the American master Donald Justice and “an eminent generation of American poets.”
On the rise of the “multiculturalist” curriculum and its damages.
On “In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India: Selections from the Polsky Collections and Metropolitan Museum of Art” at the New York Asia Society.
On “Inventions: Recent Paintings by Caio Fonseca” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; “Caio Fonseca, New Paintings” at Paul Kasmin Gallery; “Richmond Burton” at Cheim & Read; “Louisa Matthiasdottir: A Retrospective” at Scandinavia House, New York; “Giorgio Morandi, Paintings 1950-“1964” at Lucas Schoormans & “Rackstraw Downes, New Paintings” at Betty Cuningham Gallery.
On the opening of the New York Philharmonic’s 2004-2005 season under Lorin Maazel, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center under new artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han, the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Traviata, Daphne and Platée at New York City Opera & Otello and Carmen under James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera.
On Don Giovianni, Simon Boccanegra, Beatrice and Benedict, Agrippina & La Sonnambula at the Santa Fe Opera.
On the self-affirmed beliefs of intellectuals.
On the passing of Thom Gunn, a poet who welcomed “Eliot’s ideal of ‘impersonality’ and scorning ‘confessional’ poetry as well as overmuch theory.”
A review of Villages, by John Updike; The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth; Oblivion: Stories, by David Foster Wallace; & Heir to the Glimmering World, by Cynthia Ozick.
A review of Metamorphoses, by Ovid, translated and with notes by Charles Martin; introduction by Bernard Knox.
A review of A Mighty Fortress: A New History of German People, by Steven Ozment.
A review of Ulysses S. Grant, by Josiah Bunting III.
A review of The Artificial White Man: Essays on Authenticity, by Stanley Crouch.
A review of The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, by T. R. Reid.
A review of Ancestral Shadows: An Anthology of Ghostly Tales by Russell Kirk.
A review of Many Are Called, by Walker Evans, introduction by James Agee, foreword by Luc Sante, afterword by Jeff L. Rosenheim.
A review of T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews, edited by Jewel Spears Brooker.
On this month’s special art section and a few thoughts on the reopening of MOMA.
On the recent appointment of Susan Rosenberg to the Hamilton College faculty as “artist- and activist-in-residence.”
On some predictable responses to a Symposium at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
An excerpt from Robert Conquest’s The Dragons of Expectation published by W. W. Norton & Company.
On Yoshio Taniguchi’s architectural design of the recently refurbished MOMA.
In New York this fall, David Yezzi, The New Criterion’s poetry editor, interviewed the painter Philip Pearlstein.
On the art critic Roger Fry and his “veritable torrent of provocative judgements, insights, and comparisons.”
Excerpts taken from Mr. Emmerich’s nearly completed memoir titled My Life with Art dealing with the art critic Clement Greenberg and the color-field painter Helen Frankenthaler.
James Panero consults Randell Jarrell’s classic novel upon revisiting his own Benton.
On Stephen Sondheim’s production of Twelve Angry Men at New York’s American Airlines Theatre & Joanna Settle’s Nine Parts of Desire at the Manhattan Ensemble Theatre.
On “Aristide Maillol: Maillol and America” at the Marlborough Gallery.
On “The Art of Romare Bearden” at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
On “The Aztec Empire” at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
On “Calder, Miro” at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
On the Great Performers Series at Avery Fisher Hall with pianist Mikhail Pletnev and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt; the St. Petersburg Philharmonic conducted by Yuri Temirkanov at Carnegie Hall with featured soloists including Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Repin and Lynn Harrell; & Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories at the City Opera, New York.
On the post-election media coverage and the questions regarding morality and intelligence as a deciding factor.
Reviews of Danger on Peaks, by Gary Snyder; American Smooth, by Rita Dove; Gilgamesh, by Derrek Hines; Gilgamesh: A New English Version, by Stephen Mitchell; The Prodigal, by Derek Walcott & Second Space, by Czeslaw Milosz.
A review of Surrender: An Erotic Memoir, by Toni Bentley.
A review of The Strange Death of Moral Britain, by Christie Davies.
A review of Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight against Imperialism, by Cornel West.
A review of Gustav Mahler: A Life in Crisis by Stuart Feder.
A review of Bound to Please by Michael Dirda.
A review of Weathering the Storm: Inside Winslow Homer’s Gulf Stream, by Peter H. Wood.
Stefan Beck on The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, by Natan Sharansky & Ron Dermer.
A review of Wodehouse: A Life, by Robert McCrum.
On the recent decision to move most of the Barnes Foundation’s art collection to Philadelphia.
On the growing trend of political correctness in the American medical establishment.
On the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography edited by H. C. G Mathew & Brian Harrison.
On Samuel Butler’s autobiographical novel The Way of all Flesh.
On some persistent misinterpretations of Jane Austen.
On the intimate and influential relationship between Berthe Morisot & Edouard Manet.
On Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard.
On “The Figure and the Forest: Nineteenth-Century French Photographs and Drawings” at Kate Ganz Gallery, New York.
On “Beckmann-Picasso/Picasso-Beckmann” at Richard L. Feigen & Co.; “Ralph Eugene Meatyard” at the International Center of Photography & “James Gillray” at the New York Public Library.
On City Opera’s broadway-style production of Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein; the complete string quartets of Bartok performed by the Orion String Quartet at Alice Tully Hall; the New York Philharmonic with guest conductors: James Conlon, David Robertson, and Sakari Oramo; & Tannhäuser at the Metropolitan Opera.
On Handel’s Rodelinda at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
On the replacement of “the ancient culture of honor” with “the media’s culture of celebrity.”
On the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
A review of I am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe.
A review of Disraeli: A Personal History, by Christopher Hibbert.
A review of John James Audubon: The Making of an American, by Richard Rhodes.
A review of Up from Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York by Paul Goldberger.
James Panero on My Life, by Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Stefan Beck on Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship with France, by John J. Miller & Mark Molesky.
On the recent passing of a longtime friend and contributor to The New Criterion.
An essay on the historical development of journalism and its place in contemporary culture adapted from a lecture given by Kenneth Minogue at the Melbourne Conversazione Society held at Boston University this past October.
On the work and outlook of Philip Larkin, whose “poems were the most widely quoted and anthologized of any Englishman whose career fell within the second half of the twentieth century.”
On a few works from the desert-island genre of literature and the lasting impressions they are capable of making.
On the author Alfred Duggan and his wonderful mastery of historical fiction.
On Neil LaBute’s production of Fat Pig at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York.
On “Hans Hofmann: Search for the Real” at Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art; “Robert De Niro, Sr.: Paintings” at Salander-O’Reilly, New York; “Jane Freilicher: An Overview” at Tibor de Nagy & “Milton Avery: Onrushing Waves” at Knoedler & Company.
On The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
On “Steven Isserlis and Friends” at Zankel Hall; Janáček’s Káta Kabanová at the Metropolitan Opera; some additional Christmas concerts by the Choir of King’s College & the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with the New York Baroque Soloists; Kurt Masur conducting the New York Philharmonic; & pianist Janice Weber at the Goethe-Institut.
On the expectations of the media after tragedy strikes.
On a new addition to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A review of Richard Wagner: The Last of the Titans by Joachim Köhler.
A review of Stephen Spender: The Authorized Biography, by John Sutherland & New Collected Poems, by Stephen Spender, edited by Michael Brett.
A review of De Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens.
A review of Author, Author, by David Lodge & The Master by Colm Tóibín.
A review of Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France, by Leonie Frieda.
A review of Children at War, by P. W. Singer.
A review of The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey without Borders, by Masayo Duus, translated by Peter Duus.
On the recent passing of the playwright and left-wing icon Arthur Miller.
On the release of an Algerian member of al Qaeda because of . . . depression?
On the recent crisis over Columbia University’s professor of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures Joseph Massad and its continuing deterioration.
On “bureaucratic idiocy, real or imagined.”
An essay excerpted from his book on manliness forthcoming from Yale University Press.
On “Betjeman’s place in the canon.”
On “Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): The Drawings” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On the “issues of justice, especially social justice and law” in Billy Budd and Michael Kohlhaas.
On David Margulies’s production of Brooklyn Boy at the Manhattan Theatre Club and Good Vibrations, the Beach Boys musical at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, New York.
On “Cy Twombly: Fifty Years of Works on Paper” at the Whitney Museum; “John Walker: Collage” at Knoedler & Company & “George McNeil: Paintings” at Salander-O’Reilly Galleries.
On “American Modern” at Hackett Freedman Gallery, San Francisco.
On Glenn Dicterow performing Aaron Jay Kernis’s Lament and Prayer in celebration of his twenty-fifth anniversary as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; Lauren Maazel conducting Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande also at the the New York Philharmonic; Vox Vocal Ensemble conducted by George Steel at Columbia University’s Low Library; performances by the Bolshoi Theatre at the World Economic Forum; & The Cleveland Orchestra directed by Franz Welser-Möst with soloist Radu Lupu.
On the Style section’s “expectation of drama in politics: it’s so often bad drama.”
How being a pundit stands in the way of spelling out proper distinctions in a clear and honest manner.
On Mayor Livingstone’s embrace of Dr. al-Qaradawi & Islamophobia as “the most dangerous of current social evils.”
A review of Malraux: A Life, by Olivier Todd, translated by Joseph West.
A review of The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments, by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
A review of In Praise of Empires: Globalization and Order by D. Lal.
A review of The Life of Graham Greene, Volume Three: 1955-1991, by Norman Sherry.
A review of Imagining the Real: Essays on Politics, Ideology and Literature, by Robert Grant.
On Reading Biography, by Carl Rollyson.
Stefan Beck on The Secrets Wars of Judi Bari, by Kate Coleman.
On one positive outcome of an unfortunate academic fiasco.
On the contents of our third annual special poetry section.
Does society appreciate one of its finest metaphysical poets?
On Lawrence Rainey’s scholarly new edition of “The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot’s Contemporary Prose.”
On the foibles and finer points of the poet John Wilmot, Lord Rochester.
Formalism versus free verse, revisited.
On David Mamet’s Romance at the off-Broadway Atlantic Theater; Christopher Shinn’s On the Mountain at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre, New York; & Gina Gionfriddo’s After Ashley at the Vineyard Theatre, New York.
On “Stuart Davis and American Abstraction: A Masterpiece in Focus ” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
On the world’s preeminent art fair.
On “The Armory Show: The International Fair of New Art” at Piers 90 & 92; the seventeenth annual ADAA “Art Show” at the 67th Street Armory; the AIPAD “Photography Show” at the New York Hilton; the Outsider Art Fair at the Puck Building; & the Winter Antiques Show also at the 67th Street Armory.
On Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic; the Emerson, Orion and Brentano String Quartets; the Metropolitan Opera’s Barber of Seville; & André Previn with the Oslo Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.
On some consequences of refusing to engage “the other side” - your opponents’ arguments.
On the death and legacy of the poet Michael Donaghy.
On two stories in which we “see encapsulated the tragic predicament of modern man.”
A review of Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1793-1810, by Robert Southey, edited by Lynda Pratt.
A review of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt Ph.d..
A review of William Pitt the Younger, by William Hague.
A review of Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World’s Best Poems, by Camille Paglia.
On the woeful failure of the new Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature.
A note on David Pryce-Jones’s contribution to the May issue of Commentary magazine.
On the recent death of the radical feminist Andrea Dworkin.
On some measures for restoring the American university to its founding principles.
On the offerings and merits of A New History of German Literature, edited by David Wellbery.
On the complexities of the human experience.
Robert Messenger takes stock of a remarkable literary achievement with W. W. Norton’s release of Patrick O’Brian’s Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels including the unfinished twenty-first.
On Spamalot, Broadway’s new “loving rip-off” of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
On “Greater New York 2005” at P.S. 1, Queens, New York.
On “Adrienne Farb” at Mary Ryan Gallery; “Graham Nickson: Painting” at Salander-O’Reilly Galleries; “Wayne Thiebaud Since 1962: A Survey” at the Allan Stone Gallery & “Thornton Willis & James Little: Raising the Bar” at Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn.
On Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; the New York Philharmonic’s program of Bach and Messiaen, guest-conducted by Kent Nagano; Handel’s Orlando and Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at City Opera; the Orchestra of St. Luke’s “Postcard from Prague” program at Carnegie Hall; two Schubert concerts at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Valery Gergiev at Carnegie Hall.
On on the media’s strange responses to the death and legacy of Pope John Paul II.
On literary scandals real and trumped up.
A review of Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro; A Changed Man, by Francine Prose; American Purgatorio, by John Haskell; Saturday, by Ian McEwan; & Winslow in Love, by Kevin Canty.
A review of The Clay Sanskrit Library, co-published by New York University Press.
A review of William Empson, Volume I: Among the Mandarins, by John Haffenden.
A review of Tales, by H. P. Lovecraft.
A review of Quicksands: A Memoir, by Sybille Bedford.
A review of Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan (Crown Journeys) by Phillip Lopate.
A review of George Sand by Elizabeth Harlan.
A review of V. S. Pritchett: A Working Life, by Jeremy Treglown.
A review of No Soft Incense: Barbara Pym and the Church, by Barbara Pym, edited by Hazel K. Bell.
A review of Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815, by N. A. M. Rodger.
A review of Hans Christian Andersen: A New Life, by Jens Andersen, translated by Tiina Nunnally.
A review of “Christopher Wilmarth: Light & Gravity” by Steven Henry Madoff.
On the indispensible help of The New Criterion’s readers, contributors, and supporters.
On a great year for academic absurdity.
On Newsweek’s latest forays into journalistic irresponsibility.
On the life and work of the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, who is “well-known without being known well.”
On the history and function of war journalism, from Thucydides to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On Kenya’s significant but barely remembered Mau Mau rebellion.
On the incredible achievements of the dancer Martha Graham.
On My Name Is Rachel Corrie, at the Royal Court Theatre, London.
On “Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams” at The Royal Academy of Arts, London.
On “Max Ernst: A Retrospective” at The Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York.
On “John Szarkowski” at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
On “Marvin Bileck & Emily Nelligan: Cranberry Island: Drawings and Prints” at Alexandre Gallery; “Tim Gardner” at 303 Gallery; “Jacqueline Gourevitch: Cloud Paintings 2000–2005” & “David Hockney: Pools 1978–1980” at the Mary Ryan Gallery & “Richard Baker” at Tibor de Nagy.
On “Jacques-Louis David: Empire to Exile” at The J. Paul Getty Museum & Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass.
On the Dresden Staatskapelle’s two nights at Carnegie Hall, New York; Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at City Opera, New York; Jefferson Friedman’s new piece The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly, performed by the New York Philharmonic and conducted by Leonard Slatkin; two concerts by the Bamberg Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall, New York; & Renee Fleming at Zankel Hall, New York.
On Gounod’s Faust at the Metropolitan Opera, New York & Angela Hewitt at Zankell Hall, New York.
On the media’s continuing attempts to “hold up the obvious falsehood that [they have] no political views at all in order to advance those views under the cover of ‘objectivity.’”
Reviews of Where Shall I Wander, by John Ashbery; Elegy on Toy Piano, by Dean Young; Overlord, by Jorie Graham; Black Maria, by Kevin Young; Delights & Shadows, Flying at Night: Poems 1965–1985, & The Poetry Home Repair Manual, by Ted Kooser; Collected Poems, 1943–2004, by Richard Wilbur.
From Toni Bentley
From Charlie Finch
From John Koethe
From Hal Colebatch.
From Samuel Amadon
Daniel Mark Epstein replies.
Robert Messenger responds.
David Yezzi responds.
A review of February House: The Story of W. H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane & Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten & Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America, by Sherill Tippins.
A review of The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World by Alister Mcgrath.
A review of Liberty & Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas, by David Hackett Fischer.
A review of One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance by Christina Hoff Sommers.
A review of Art and the Power of Placement by Victoria Newhouse.
A review of Virgil’s Georgics, translated by Janet Lembke.
A review of Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson.
A review of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer.
A review of Ogden Nash: The Life & Work of America’s Laureate of Light Verse, by Douglas M. Parker.
A review of Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses by Theodore Dalrymple.