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The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement



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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A Sixties time warp

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Aug 21, 2014 10:44 AM

As Scott Johnson over at Powerline has noted, the Sixties seems to be making a comeback on the world stage. Consider Barack Obama’s pathetic response to the violence and racial posturing in Ferguson. “It was,” Johnson writes, “a statement full of the reigning leftist clichés, even retrieving the “anger” of “looting” and “carrying guns” from […]

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A tenor, without mulligans

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Aug 20, 2014 10:55 AM

Piotr Beczala; photo via Salzburger Festspiele / Marco Borrelli / Lelli

Piotr Beczala has for years been an opera star, and on Sunday night he had his turn upon the recital stage here at the Salzburg Festival. Beczala is a Polish tenor whose name is pronounced “Beck-SHAH-wah.” He owns a beautiful voice, and has a key ingredient for a singer, or a musician, or a person, for that matter: likability.

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Beethoven times two at the Mostly Mozart Festival

by Eric C. Simpson

Posted: Aug 18, 2014 04:32 PM

Gianandrea Noseda; photo by Ramella&Giannese

One of the particular problems that comes with performing Beethoven's Ninth, at least with modern programming conventions, is how to complement it. At an hour to an hour and ten, it's too long to pair with a full-length concerto (unless you want a twenty-five-minute first half, a twenty-minute intermission, and a seventy-minute second half) but too short to program all by itself (as is often done with, say, any number of Mahler symphonies). The trick is to find an overture of about ten minutes that won't look completely flimsy next to perhaps the greatest warhorse in the symphonic repertoire.

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Lord Elgin in Detroit

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Aug 17, 2014 02:18 PM

Where is Lord Elgin when you need him? In the early 19th century, Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, was serving as British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Exercising fiduciary responsibility for the cultural patrimony of the West was not high on the list of the Muslim’s list of priorities. In Athens, the art […]

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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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