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The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
- The Wall Street Journal



An evening with Simone Dinnerstein

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Apr 02, 2014 02:12 PM

Glenn Gould used to be my favorite interpreter of Bach. Since Simone Dinnerstein’s recordings of Bach began appearing, beginning with her Goldberg Variations in 2007, Gould has assumed the somewhat less exalted status as “one of my favorite interpreters” of Bach.  My absolute favorite these past 6 or 7 years is Dinnerstein. Indeed, she is [...]

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Sounds, good and bad

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Apr 01, 2014 10:28 AM

Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall; photo:

A couple of weeks ago, Carnegie Hall staged a “neighborhood concert,” at a church on the Upper West Side. The concert was a voice recital, featuring Nathaniel Olson, a young baritone from Indiana University. At the piano was Kevin Murphy, a teacher of his—and the husband of the famous soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, and a good friend of mine.

Olson owns a truly beautiful voice, a voice with a glow in it. Not all beautiful voices have glows in them, but some of them do. I think of Robert Lloyd, the British bass. I once said to him, “I don’t know how that glow got in your voice, but it’s there.” He did not protest or demur or say “Aw, shucks.” Instead, he said, “I don’t know how it got there either. It’s just a gift. Has always been there.”

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Linguistic libertines on the march

by James Bowman

Posted: Mar 27, 2014 12:14 PM

Here we go again. Ezra Pound said that poetry is news that stays news. If so, the news that we don’t have to worry about our grammar anymore has got the Cantos beaten all hollow, as it has been making headlines since long before ol’ Ez kicked the bucket more than 40 years ago. The latest herald of these linguistic liberators is Tom Chivers of the Daily Telegraph, which headlined last week: “Are ‘grammar Nazis’ ruining the English language?” The answer is: not if he can help it. As the sub-head has it: “Split infinitives make them shudder and they’d never end a sentence with a preposition. But linguist Geoffrey Pullum has a message for all grammar pedants: you’re wrong.” For someone purporting to pooh-pooh ideas of grammatical correctness, linguist Geoffrey Pullum (co-author of the massive Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) is awfully quick to be telling people that they’re “wrong.” 

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NY's Net Gains

by James Panero

Posted: Mar 26, 2014 12:39 PM

New York's Flatiron district, main street of Silicon Alley.

In the Winter issue of City Journal, I take a look at the rebirth of what's known as New York's "Silicon Alley." I didn't have to go far to see the rise of this urban tech sector. The Flatiron-district offices of The New Criterion happen to be right in the middle of it, something I discuss in my podcast with CJ's Matthew Hennessey. The culture of New York is known for nurturing many things, but, up until now, tech entrepreneurialism hasn't been one of them. In "Net Gains," I look at why this might have changed.

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Sleep(walk)ing beauty

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Mar 25, 2014 04:09 PM

Javier Camarena and Diana Damrau in Vincenzo Bellini's La Sonnambula at the Metropolitan Opera; photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

La sonnambula, Bellini’s opera, is known as a soprano vehicle: Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, and others have ridden it to great success. But there is a lot of tenor singing in it, and the Metropolitan Opera had a very good tenor working on Friday night.

He was Javier Camarena, a Mexican. He owns a beautiful voice, and knows what to do with it. He was nimble, fresh, and winning. We could always use such bel canto tenors: Man cannot live on Juan Diego Flórez alone.

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Ideas Have Consequences

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Mar 24, 2014 01:02 PM

The University of Chicago has just published a new edition of Richard Weaver’s quirky classic Ideas Have Consequences, which was first published in 1948. Probably, Dear Reader, you have heard of but not read the book.  Now is your chance. Let me mention a few of the book’s many attractions: 1. It is, as I [...]

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What game is Putin playing?

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Mar 23, 2014 01:07 PM

David Goldman, aka Spengler, has published a thoughtful piece about Putin, Ukraine, and the future of Russia. I say “published,” but “republished” is more accurate.  It first appeared nearly six years ago, in August 2008.  But “Americans Play Monopoly, Russians Chess” is as pertinent today as it was when it was first published. Some scene [...]

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The meaning of Mireille Miller-Young, or Free speech for me, theft, battery, and vandalism for thee

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Mar 22, 2014 08:24 PM

Mireille Miller-Young is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She teaches in the department of feminist studies (“an interdisciplinary discipline that produces cutting-edge research,” offers an undergraduate major and minor, and houses “the minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer studies”). According to her university web page, Dr. Miller-Young’s “areas [...]

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The New Criterion

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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