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The New Criterion

Quite simply, the best cultural review in the world
- John O’Sullivan



Evolution of the Obama Doctrine

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Aug 31, 2014 02:50 PM

The “Obama Doctrine”: what do you suppose that might be? The goal of fundamentally transforming the United States of  America stands in the background, you can be sure of that. But  now, 6 years into the program, we can see an arc of development, an evolution (or devolution). There are many metrics that can be […]

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In Case You Missed It

by Christine Emba

Posted: Aug 29, 2014 12:02 PM

The September issue has arrived! Our thirty-third season brings new articles, new poetry, and new events – we hope you'll join us.


Recent links of interest:

Detroit Mum on Proposal to Use Its Art as Collateral
A recent appraisal finds that the Detroit Institute of Arts collection is worth significantly more than previously assumed. Too much, perhaps, for it to avoid creditors' claims... 

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Advice for the Governor from Frank Sinatra

by James Bowman

Posted: Aug 27, 2014 11:45 AM

“The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.”

When at the end of Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble the Beadle is informed of what was formerly known as the Principle of Coverture under English Common Law, he replied in words that have echoed down the years since his own time: “If the law supposes that,” said the Beadle, “the law is a ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.” The Principle of Coverture was abolished in England by the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882 and by various states in the US beginning in the 1830s. Interestingly, Virginia considered and rejected legislation to the same effect in the 1840s and only got around to getting rid of coverture after the Civil War. Some of my fellow Virginians may be wishing they’d left things as they were. 

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Obama Tries for Kyoto 2.0

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Aug 27, 2014 11:31 AM

Do you remember this bit from the Constitution of the United States? [The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; . . .  That’s so-called “Treaty Clause” from Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution.  […]

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Wrapping up the Mostly Mozart Festival

by Eric C. Simpson

Posted: Aug 26, 2014 11:06 AM

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, via The New York Times

The resident orchestra may be the “main event” at the Mostly Mozart Festival, but the series of “Little Night Music” concerts in the Kaplan Penthouse is a hidden gem. Intimate, café-style seating, a spectacular view, complimentary wine for those who are so inclined: These are among the most relaxing and enjoyable concert experiences that New York has to offer. And occasionally, as happened last Thursday, the weather helps out with a few well-timed flashes of lightning for dramatic effect.

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Moral idiocy on parade

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Aug 23, 2014 03:00 PM

Connoisseurs of obtuse moral idiocy have long cherished The New York Times. Is there any other  contemporary organ of opinion that so reliably combines the odor of sanctimoniousness with a seamless adherence to “progressive” left-leaning orthodoxy? It’s not just the positions espoused by our former paper of record: it’s the combination of those echt correct […]

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In Case You Missed It

by Christine Emba

Posted: Aug 22, 2014 04:00 PM

Marbling from an 1880 French book, via The Paris Review 


Links from the past week:

The Enemies, and Friends, of the Humanities
Deconstruction is all the rage. But Marcuse, Derrida, and Foucalt would all have had you learn the canon first. 

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A strange Wagnerian ‘project’

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Aug 22, 2014 11:38 AM

Daniel Barenboim; photo by Karl Schoendorfer/REX, via the Daily Telegraph

There was a Wagner concert in the Great Festival Hall at the Salzburg Festival last night. Daniel Barenboim led the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and a cast of veteran singers in the Prelude, Act II, and Liebestod (“Love-Death”) from Tristan und Isolde. The festival gave this concert an intriguing name: “The Tristan und Isolde Project.” But people have been performing exactly this program from time immemorial. It’s what you do when you want to give a Tristan concert.

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Briefly Noted: Toulouse-Lautrec at MoMa

by Andrew Koenig

Posted: Aug 21, 2014 10:47 AM

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901). Divan Japonais. 1893. Lithograph

MOMA has mounted three major exhibitions of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work in the past, each separated by twenty or thirty years. Their most recent exhibition—“The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters”—arrives just on schedule, following 1985’s “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.”

Thirty years feels like the right amount of time to wait for a reappraisal; any longer would be risky. Toulouse-Lautrec needs defending as probably no other canonized artist of modern times does. His work has been so shamelessly vulgarized, imitations of his prints so often hung on the bathroom walls of overpriced French restaurants, that one is predisposed to look askance at his work and his reputation.

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About ArmaVirumque


( AHR-mah wih-ROOM-kweh)


In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil sang of "arms and a man" (Arma virumque cano). Month in and month out, The New Criterion expounds with great clarity and wit on the art, culture, and political controversies of our times. With postings of reviews, essays, links, recs, and news, Armavirumque seeks to continue this mission in accordance with the timetable of the digital age.


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