The Critic Magazine3 min lettiPolitics
It’s All A Conspiracy
THERE IS A GREAT RESET. It has a website with a video introduction by HRH The Prince of Wales. Sponsored by the World Economic Forum, it’s the Davos view on how the world might grow sustainably after the recession wrought by Covid. It is as worthy, d
The Critic Magazine6 min letti
Balancing The Books
RICHARD OVENDEN, librarian of the Bodleian in Oxford, recently published an impassioned account of the importance of collections of the written word. In Burning the Books (John Murray, £20), he examines the way in which libraries have been pillaged t
The Critic Magazine4 min lettiTechnology & Engineering
Mystery Of The Clicking Keyboard
ROBIN HOOD. DICK TURPIN. Long Ben. Bonnie and Clyde. Dillinger. There’s something appealing about those individuals who simply say, “Hand it over.” And since the days of Daniel Defoe, crime has certainly paid well for writers. Out of the Ether: The A
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
Anne McElvoy on Theatre
SONIA FRIEDMAN is a doyenne of theatrical production in London — as tough as they come from a family born to the stage. As the pandemic unleashed lockdowns around the world she closed 18 productions, forfeiting revenues for the year of many tens of m
The Critic Magazine1 min letti
The Critic
Editorial Publisher & Co-Editor: Michael Mosbacher Co-Editor: Christopher Montgomery Executive Editor: Robert Low Art Director: Martin Colyer Political Editor: Graham Stewart Deputy Political Editor: David Scullion US Editor: Oliver Wiseman Productio
The Critic Magazine5 min letti
A Question Of Taste
WHEN IT WAS OPENED IN 1927 the restaurant at Tate Britain was located in what was fatefully called the “most amusing room in Britain”. I was taken there as an undergraduate by a Yale professor of liberal views who loved wine. It had in those days an
The Critic Magazine4 min lettiPsychology
Crooked Compendium
WRITE OF WHAT YOU KNOW, they say, and Ms Lees, properly Gibson-Lees, seems well-suited to her self-imposed task. Her father was probably a spy (the crime), and in Hong Kong, where Ms Lees spent her youth, her mother was a headmistress (the dictionary
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
Christopher Silvester on Cinema
WITH MOST CINEMAS in the United States and Europe closed, and the major studios holding back most of their 2020 releases until the end of next year, including Steven Spielberg’s remake of the musical West Side Story, we are entering an untypical awar
The Critic Magazine4 min lettiPolitics
Power To The Pigs And Les Keufs
AUTHORITARIANISM breeds authoritarianism. A figure whose flimsy authority derives from the position he holds rather than from his barely human quiddity will, out of fear and self-preservation, appoint and promote in his own likeness whilst feigning t
The Critic Magazine9 min letti
Out With The Old Masters?
I SPENT THE EARLY DAYS OF LOCKDOWN writing and rewriting the conclusion to a book on the history of museums since the Second World War (actually, since the opening of New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1939), desperately trying to figure out what the
The Critic Magazine3 min lettiPolitics
It Shouldn’t Happen To A Spad
THE PUNISHING HOURS, the backstabbing, the constant manoeuvring for power and influence, and then after two or three years you are marched out of the office, pathetically clutching your possessions in a black bag. As recent events have so amply demon
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
Adam LeBor on Television
WHEN A MAN REACHES a certain age, his thoughts to turn to the three G’s — grandchildren, gardening and genealogy. In my case — 59, since you ask — as my teenage children are still at school it’s too soon for the first, and while I love a beautiful ga
The Critic Magazine3 min letti
REPORTING THE BOSNIAN WAR Several claims in Janine di Giovanni’s article Lessons of Bosnian war and peace (December) reflect poorly on me professionally and need correcting. I was the Sunday Times reporter working in Bosnia before her arrival there,
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
Plague And Pestilence
SO READ THE HEADLINE in the Telegraph, evoking images of a bygone age when plagues were sent to punish us and repentance was the surest route out of any natural catastrophe. Not that this intervention reflected any desire for a return to the Lord our
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
The cacophonous Mr Chips
WHEN MARIANNE TAYLOR left the Kent coast and went inland to university, she couldn’t sleep. Not because, as I’m sure happened to most of us, there was a boy in the room above who stayed up until the early hours listening to French jazz while smoking
The Critic Magazine1 min letti
The Bells of Whitechapel by Adam Dant
Adam Dant introduces The Bells of Whitechapel: “My print shows the historic significance of Britain’s oldest manufacturing business, across the globe and as a part of the deep fabric of London’s culture and community. “From St Mary le Bow, Cheapside,
The Critic Magazine4 min lettiPolitics
Unproductive Investment
NATIONS HAVE ONLY limited resources. The allocation of these resources to the most productive ends is crucial to maximising output and achieving the highest possible living standards. Lord Lawson was therefore right to deride Boris Johnson for “econo
The Critic Magazine1 min letti
Johnny’s Wild Years
Not shame, but more a pulsing regretThat I was so wild and thoughtless,Careless of others’ feelings, feeding my greed.Musk, champagne, drugs and deceptions,The casual cruelties, the kindnesses ignored,I was an animal, saurian with smiles.Yet some use
The Critic Magazine4 min letti
High Priestess Of A New Morality
IF ANY PERIOD OF BRITISH HISTORY can qualify as an illustration of Carlyle’s great man theory, then it is surely the nineteenth century. It was a time when individual men did demonstrably great things, such as invent world-changing machines, fight wa
The Critic Magazine4 min lettiCookbooks, Food, & Wine
Primary Sauces
Lisa Hilton savours a timeless French bistro in Pimlico that displays no timidity with the ladle THE PACE OF DECLINE is a relative thing. Lamenting the sack of Rome by the Goths in 410, St Jerome wailed, “The whole world has died with one city”. Perh
The Critic Magazine10 min letti
Kicked Out Of The Comedy Club
EVERY GAY PERSON WHO GREW UP before the new millennium knew that coming out of the closet wasn’t a one-off affair. It was an exercise to be repeated in the various spheres of one’s existence — family, friends, work — and there would always be new soc
The Critic Magazine1 min letti
My in-breathpanics the lungs,scrapes short. Space crawls awayfrom the ribcage. Calmdisappears in one cough—then a Zen monk squeaksOm frommy throat, but the in-breath runs riot,rattles the crown, turnsZapatista leading the charge,backed up by a trilli
The Critic Magazine3 min letti
Evolution Of A Master
THE PUBLICATION OF a second book on Anthony Whishaw within four years is both a delight and an important event. In Works On Paper Richard Davey uses his interviews with the artist to create a poetic and graceful narrative, complemented by good illust
The Critic Magazine3 min lettiCookbooks, Food, & Wine
Kisses In The Dark
‘‘SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT shows,” proclaimed my English poetry primer, “that moonlight on stained glass does not produce this effect.” The footnote was to a line in The Eve of St Agnes — the only poem with a description of sexual intercourse approved f
The Critic Magazine2 min letti
Cheryl Partington Media Don
IN THE COURSE OF THE PAST fortnight Professor Cheryl Partington has, in no particular order, appeared on Start the Week, reviewed a biography of Sylvia Plath for the Observer (“crisp …finely judged …a fresh jewel in the diadem of Plath studies”), con
The Critic Magazine1 min letti
The Construction Of The Reader And The Writer
Derrida is the writerof the writing Derrida writes. The readers of Derrida readthe writings of the writer thatDerrida writes to read. Derrida, as a writer,derides the readings of the writingsthat the readers of the writerswhen they read the writers r
The Critic Magazine5 min letti
Peculiar World Of A Singular Talent
PATRICIA HIGHSMITH WROTE such vertiginously novels one isn’t much surprised to be told that she ate beef straight from the butcher’s block. Nor is one all that startled to learn that having battered a rat to death in her garden, she tossed it through
The Critic Magazine2 min letti
Ring In The New … Please
“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year … make damn sure it leaves then slam the gate shut. We won’t be wanting that year back!” With apologies to the literary executors and admirers of Minnie Louise Haskins’s inspirational poem, tha
The Critic Magazine11 min lettiDiscrimination & Race Relations
Round Up The Ordinary Suspects
THE SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT needs the repressive capitalist state it professes to oppose. Without the power of governments to enact punitive laws, and of corporations to compel workers to change or pretend to change their behaviour, it will fail. Lik
The Critic Magazine9 min letti
Surviving The Straits Of Hell
NINETY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD MOSHE HA-ELION proudly ushers me forward to admire the view from his smart fourteenth-floor apartment overlooking the beach in Bat Yam, south of Jaffa. It is late January and the mist is rising over the Mediterranean as if shield
...o scopri qualcosa di nuovo