The New Criterion – February 2023 Issue:
After the Russian Revolution, Jews had to navigate a new identity: aspiring muscular worker and New Soviet Man.
How the Soviet Jew Was Made by Sasha Senderovich
For Matisse art was a perpetual emergency, a matter of testing boundaries, breaking through.
Matisse: The Red Studio – an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, May 1–September 10, 2022; and SMK–National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, October 13, 2022–February 26, 2023
Matisse in the 1930s – an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 20, 2022–January 29, 2023; the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, March 1–May 29, 2023; and the Musée Matisse Nice, June 23–September 24, 2023
Dionne Brand’s poetry has the weight and sonority of prophetic utterance without a hint of melodrama.
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems by Dionne Brand
What can opera elicit from The Hours that the page and the screen cannot?
The Hours – an opera by Kevin Puts, with a libretto by Greg Pierce, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, November 22–December 15, 2022
Colm Tóibín on the Art of Fiction: “No matter what you do in a novel there’s a secret DNA of whatever it is that you’ve suffered.” N. Scott Momaday on the Art of Poetry: “I was writing lines that looked like lines of poetry, recollecting my early days on the reservation, but I didn’t know the difference between a spondee and a dactyl.”
Prose by Avigayl Sharp, Lucas Hnath, and Mieko Kanai.
Poetry by William IX of Aquitaine, Cynthia Cruz, and Peter Mishler.
Art by Mary Manning and Lily van der Stokker.
Cover by Uman.
The Museum at Wordsworth Grasmere, the second phase of work at the former Lake District home of the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, has opened to the public, with all gallery, exhibition design and interpretative overviews by Nissen Richards Studio.
The first phase of work by Nissen Richards Studio encompassed the conservation and reinterpretation of Dove Cottage itself, where William and Dorothy once lived, plus the new identity for Wordsworth Grasmere and the scheme’s signage and wayfinding.
The new visitor journey, designed by Nissen Richards Studio in close collaboration with the Wordsworth Grasmere team, includes a series of threshold moments, such as a totem sign and the setting of words into the walkways, featuring fragments of poems going off in two directions, so that visitors see them clearly on arrival and departure.
The Museum includes a shop and ticketing area, before visitors enter a new, double-height orientation space, where quotations by Wordsworth are set within a dramatic, full-height light wall. Visitors then make their way to a former stable space that houses an immersive introductory film, before stepping over the threshold into Dove Cottage. Visitors return to The Museum via Dove Cottage’s Garden-Orchard, entering an expanded first floor space, loosely arranged into four new galleries. Galleries One and Four are set to one side and Galleries Two and Three to the other, whilst a pause space in between offers views onto the gardens and surrounding landscape.
Read by John Davies
John Clare was an English poet who lived most of his life in abject poverty. His life was marred by bouts of mania and depression, and for the final 23 years of his life, Clare was locked in an insane asylum. It was here he began to write poetry; ‘I Am’ was Clare’s final elegy before his passing.
BY JOHN CLARE
I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.