Category Archives: Criticism

The Cold War Never Ended III

So last time I wrote another installment of my “Cold War Never Ended” series and tried to unravel something of the weird collective psychology surrounding the Cold War. Norman Mailer covered much of this ground in his 1957 essay The White Negro, which … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Criticism, Hipsters, Historiography, Politics, the cold war never ended!

Exoticism and Racism and the Whole Damn Thing

Writing for the Atlantic group online (initially Quartz, “a digitally native news outlet launched by Atlantic Media in September 2012—it provides a 24/7 digital guide to the new global economy designed to serve business professionals who travel the world, are … Continue reading

Posted in Concert Culture, Criticism, Current Affairs, Ethics, Opera, Politics | 4 Comments

Hum me a few bars

A stupid joke for April Fools Day, in honor of my Dad, who knew a million of ’em: A guy walks into a bar and orders a beer. There’s a piano player entertaining the clientele, and his gimmick is, he … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books, Criticism, Performance, Writing | 3 Comments

Bars of the Cage II: For Amusement Only

So are academics condemned to go around clutching their brows in existential agony? No. For the most part, we don’t. Sure, there are some people who really commit to seeing the world as the so-called world, everything in quotation marks, … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Historiography, Intellectuals, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Author Don’t Preach

I like Michael Chabon, generally.  The Yiddish Policemen’s Union—my favorite, far and away—has a blisteringly vivid and authentic tone and trajectory, and one of the things I’ll be grieving this Yom Kippur is the Coen Brothers’ eventual decision not to … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books, Criticism, Historiography, Literature | 4 Comments

A Visit to Vail, With Some Thoughts on Light Music

This past weekend, we enjoyed a lovely couple of evenings in Vail, CO; I gave a pre-concert talk before the New York Philharmonic performance Saturday night at the Bravo! Vail festival, and we were able to attend Sunday night as … Continue reading

Posted in Concert Culture, Criticism, Pop Culture | 3 Comments

After This Nonsense

Jonathan Bellman On December 12, the New York Times ran a cover story on Elliot Carter’s one hundredth birthday.  And many happy returns to him; he entered a period of unprecedented productivity at age 90, and has been composing many new … Continue reading

Posted in Aesthetics, Criticism, Current Affairs | 2 Comments