The Globe tells us that we will be gaining compelling stories. What are we losing? Invitations to think seriously about artistic accomplishment and failure.
George Scialabba is still outfoxing the professional eggheads in For the Republic, his third collection of essays on political and cultural topics.
By Justin Marble
Back in the ’30s, Philip Rahv memorably divided American fiction writers into redskins and palefaces — Mark Twain epitomized the wild men, Henry James the civilized — a chasm that today may be outmoded or politically indelicate. But Lewis M. Dabney’s fine biography of Edmund Wilson suggests that when it comes to assessing literary critics […]
After four movie versions of Alexandre Dumas’s nineteenth-century novel, does it make any sense to make a musical out of The Three Musketeers? The film versions efficiently present the book’s mix of comic book mayhem and romance and are available on DVD and video. By Bill Marx I can’t think of any successful swashbuckling musicals, […]
Some show biz flair-ups are dead debacles walking. Producers sparked a flap in Chicago recently by tossing accusations of foul play at a critic whom they claimed wrote about shows she didn’t have permission to review.
When should a play be labeled dated and consigned to the junk heap of time? No playwright is safe from the charge of being called passé: one reviewer’s breath of fresh air from the past is another’s antiquated wheeze.
The Hub Review features a perceptively waspish consideration of Pauline Kael’s unhealthy influence on film reviewers, taking scathing aim at a couple of her jittery heirs, A.O. Scott of the NYTimes and Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. I particularly like Tom Garvey’s concluding paragraph: But if the Paulettes have all repudiated their maker, where’s her baleful […]
By Bill Marx Book reviewing is at a crossroads. Major newspapers and magazines are cutting column inches devoted to the evaluation of books, while blogs and book review sites online raise issues of ethical standards and quality control. Where should those who believe in the survival of book criticism expend their time and energy? Can […]
An intriguingly speculative study argues that the history of world literature boils down to a power struggle between outsiders and insiders.