The Playgoer: Lament of the Day

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Lament of the Day

"It is, I suspect, difficult to the point of impossibility for the average reader under the age of forty to imagine a time when high-quality arts criticism could be found in most big-city newspapers. Yet a considerable number of the most significant collections of criticism published in the 20th century, including Virgil Thomson’s The Musical Scene (1945), Edwin Denby’s Looking at the Dance (1949), Kenneth Tynan’s Curtains (1961), and Hilton Kramer’s The Age of the Avant-Garde (1973) consisted in large part of newspaper reviews. To read such books today is to marvel at the fact that their erudite contents were once deemed suitable for publication in general-circulation dailies."

-Terry Teachout. The bulk of his article is a tribute to now-forgotten British music critic, Neville Cardus of the Manchester Guardian.

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