The New Criterion, now co-edited by the art critic Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball, was founded in 1982 by Mr. Kramer and the pianist and music critic Samuel Lipman. A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life, The New Criterion began as an experiment in critical audacity-a publication devoted to engaging, in Matthew Arnold's famous phrase, with the best that has been thought and said. This also meant engaging with those forces dedicated to traducing genuine cultural and intellectual achievement, whether through obfuscation, politicization, or a commitment to nihilistic absurdity. We are proud that The New Criterion has been in the forefront both of championing what is best and most humanely vital in our cultural inheritance and in exposing what is mendacious, corrosive, and spurious. Published monthly from September through June, The New Criterion brings together a wide range of young and established critics whose common aim is to bring you the most incisive criticism being written today.
This volume contains nearly all the criticism that Alexander Coleman wrote for The New Criterion between 1994 and 2003. A specialist in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American literature, Coleman was also a superb essayist on music, and his wide erudition, as revealed in these writings, demonstrates an easy mastery of the entire modernist tradition. Diversions and Animadversions is divided into three parts. The first contains Coleman's literary essays including a lengthy piece on Eba de Quieros, the great master of Portuguese realism, and shorter pieces on the Argentinian writer and Borges disciple, Adolfo Bioy Casares, as well as a review of the most recent translation of the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. Coleman's greatest passion, however, was for music, and part two contains essays, concert and book reviews, and reports on the cultural situation of music. Among the subjects examined here are the operas of Schoenberg, Berg, Richard Strauss, the recently published letters of Toscanini, the music criticism of Virgil Thomson, the fluctuating critical reputation of Jean Sibelius, and the authentic performance practice movement, along with considerations of such instrumentalists as Sviatoslav Richter and Alicia de Larrocha. The book concludes with Coleman's travel writings, which are both evocative mood pieces and incisive social and political commentary. Graced with personal appreciations by Roger Kimball and Denis Donoghue, this volume encapsulates the work of a writer of rare wit, capacious learning, and eager, if gently ironical, curiosity.
The T.S. Eliot of the 1920s was a European humanist who was part of an international network of like-minded intellectuals. Their ideas about literature, education and European culture in general remain highly relevant to the cultural debates of our day.
William Logan has been called both the "preeminent poet-critic of his generation" and the "most hated man in American poetry." For more than a quarter century, in the keen-witted and bare-knuckled reviews that have graced the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement (London), and other journals, William Logan has delivered razor-sharp assessments of poets present and past. Logan, whom James Wolcott of Vanity Fair has praised as being "the best poetry critic in America," vividly assays the most memorable and most damning features of a poet's work. While his occasionally harsh judgments have raised some eyebrows and caused their share of controversy (a number of poets have offered to do him bodily harm), his readings offer the fresh and provocative perspectives of a passionate and uncompromising critic, unafraid to separate the tin from the gold. The longer essays in The Undiscovered Country explore a variety of poets who have shaped and shadowed contemporary verse, measuring the critical and textual traditions of Shakespeare's sonnets, Whitman's use of the American vernacular, the mystery of Marianne Moore, and Milton's invention of personality, as well as offering a thorough reconsideration of Robert Lowell and a groundbreaking analysis of Sylvia Plath's relationship to her father. Logan's unsparing "verse chronicles" present a survey of the successes and failures of contemporary verse. Neither a poet's tepid use of language nor lackadaisical ideas nor indulgence in grotesque sentimentality escapes this critic's eye. While railing against the blandness of much of today's poetry (and the critics who trumpet mediocre work), Logan also celebrates Paul Muldoon's high comedy, Anne Carson's quirky originality, Seamus Heaney's backward glances, Czeslaw Milosz's indictment of Polish poetry, and much more. Praise for Logan's previous works: Desperate Measures (2002)"When it comes to separating the serious from the fraudulent, the ambitious from the complacent, Logan has consistently shown us what is wheat and what is chaff.... The criticism we remember is neither savage nor mandarin.... There is no one in his generation more likely to write it than William Logan."—Adam Kirsch, Oxford American Reputations of the Tongue (1999)"Is there today a more stringent, caring reader of American poetry than William Logan? Reputations of the Tongue may, at moments, read harshly. But this edge is one of deeply considered and concerned authority. A poet-critic engages closely with his masters, with his peers, with those whom he regards as falling short. This collection is an adventure of sensibility."—George Steiner "William Logan's critical bedevilments-as well as his celebrations-are indispensable."—Bill Marx, Boston Globe All the Rage (1998)"William Logan's reviews are malpractice suits."—Dennis O'Driscoll, Verse "William Logan is the best practical critic around."—Christian Wiman, Poetry
Should the dissimilarity between Jesus and early Christianity or between Jesus and Judaism be the central criteria for the historical Jesus? Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter argue that the criterion of dissimilarity does not do justice to the single most important result of more than two-hundred years of Jesus research: that the historical Jesus belongs to both Judaism and Christianity. The two authors propose a criterion of historical plausibility so that historical phenomenon under question can be considered authentic so long as it can be plausibly understood in its Jewish context and also facilitates a plausible explanation for its later effects in Christian history. This book is a cooperative project between Dagmar Winter and Gerd Theissen and represents the fruit of many years of their research on the historical Jesus.
Ocean structures, including ships, boats, piers, docks, rigs and platforms, are subject to fair weather wind and waves, as well as violent storms. A scientific analysis of these structures, under varying conditions, requires a mix of civil engineering, physics and applied mathematics. Chapters by experts in these fields are presented which explore the nonlinear responses of ocean structures to stochastic forcing. Theoretical methods calculate aspects of time, frequency and phase space responses. Probabilities governed by stochastic differential equations arc investigated directly or through moment correlations, such as power spectra. Calculations can also involve level crossing statistics and first passage times. Tiffs book will help scientists study stochastic nonlinear equations and help engineers design for short term survivability of structures in storms and long life in the face of everyday fatigue.