Based on Public Editor Arthur S. Brisbane’s recent New York Times column on arts criticism, he and others at the newspaper haven’t much of a clue regarding what a serious arts review is supposed to be.
The essential task of the critic is not to like or dislike the arts or to push bromides, such as to celebrate the “power of reading.” Despite some troublesome modifications, Lionel Trilling carries on the mission of E.A. Poe and Henry James: he articulates the value of the serious act of judgment in a culture hostile to it.
For all of his claims to being a subversive termite, Jonathan Lethem the puffy white elephant appears more often in this collection, trudging down a much safer, much happier road — leave the negativity to the snotty aristocrats.
Essentially, Kaiser’s plaint about the vanishing critic is useless because he, and so many other cultural kingpins worried about the end of professional criticism, offer no solutions.
The ostensible theme of the exhibit “The Last Gesture” might be best regarded, then disregarded, as critic Charlie Finch’s attempt to channel his roiling cognitive slurry. The work itself doesn’t need it.
The Arts Fuse began as my blog after the untimely end of NPR/WBUR Arts Online. But, as more writers and critics wanted to make their voices heard, the blog became a magazine. So, I decided to make it a New England focused magazine modeled on other pioneering efforts to cover the news online, such as […]
There is now an eighth Judicial Review, with the panel deliberating on the Boston University College of Fine Arts production of the 1990 Stephen Sondheim/John Weidman musical “Assassins,” which looks at the lives and sensibilities of men and women who attempted (successfully or otherwise) to kill the President of the United States. Below: background on […]
I am not sure that men at present think more profoundly than half a century ago, but beyond question they think with more rapidity, with more skill, with more tact, with more method and less of excrescence in the thought. Besides all this, they have a vast increase in the thinking material; they have more […]
Who cares how the chairs are arranged or even who sits on them on the deck of the Titanic-“Globe”? As the popularity of online publications and blogs grows, the “Globe”’s tepid cultural coverage has become increasingly superfluous.
Bloggers are concerned about the fate of book reviews, so raising questions about the quality of book commentary online, especially asking how it can become better, is worth the effort. But any discussion about the future of reviews must be based in reality rather in wishful thinking or defensive delusion. By Bill Marx In an […]