A fever that has broken? . . .
Has much changed over the past twenty-five years? Many things have, and in ways whose consequences cannot be known. For example, theory in academic literary criticism seems to be playing itself out by the sheer force of its deep inner uselessness. Not a single significant book, nor any dazzling essays that I know of, have been produced in American literary criticism that are owing to their author's adaptation of one or another kind of critical theory, imported or domestic, from deconstruction to queer theory. Such stuff continues to be taught, as it was taught to the people now teaching it and who themselves consequently know little else to teach. But one senses that the day of the predominance of theory in English departments is coming to a close: the fever has abated, the flame is guttering. Derrida and Foucault are no longer fighting but yawn-inducing words.
No one today expects universities to contribute much in the way of importance to literary life. Most writers go to college; some hang around a bit longer by attending the writing programs at places such as Boston University, the University of Iowa, and Stanford University. But the result of the triumphs within the university of multiculturalism, literary theory, feminism, and political correctness has been to drain the humanities and social-sciences sides of university education of their seriousness. Literarily, universities are now chiefly useful as the subjects of comic novels, but for little else.
From "'The literary life' at 25," a piece by Joseph Epstein in this month's New Criterion, a survey of his regular feature for the arts and intellectual culture magazine for the past quarter century.
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog