Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka, Polarizing Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79. Margalit Fox, L.A. Times. His political awakening was soon manifest in his work. His first major book, “Blues People,” published in 1963, placed black music, from blues to free jazz, in a wider sociohistorical context. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, the folklorist Vance Randolph said, “The book is full of fascinating anecdotes, many … Continue reading Amiri Baraka

Calmly Disagreeing: Stanley Kauffmann (1916-2013)

By Phil Dellio When film critic Stanley Kauffmann died a few weeks ago, Scott was in the midst of a series of posts devoted to rock critics who, at some point in their careers, expressed a declining interest in writing about music. Did Kauffmann ever experience something similar, I wondered? He began at The New Republic in 1957, and he was still at it when he … Continue reading Calmly Disagreeing: Stanley Kauffmann (1916-2013)

Arthur C. Danto

“If there was nothing visible in Warhol’s sculpture to distinguish it from an ordinary object, Mr. Danto wondered, what made it art? At a time when more and more artists were creating works lacking traditional artistic qualities, this was an urgent question. “Leaving aside that Warhol’s sculpture was made of silk-screened plywood, not cardboard, the defining feature of the sculptural ‘Brillo Box’ was, in Mr. … Continue reading Arthur C. Danto

Stanley Kauffmann, 1916-2013

Posted on The New Republic this morning: We are saddened to report that Stanley Kauffmann, our film critic of more than five decades, died early this morning at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York at age 97. We will be adding to this tribute throughout the day. The link above contains tributes by James Wolcott, David Denby, and David Thomson (with more to come). I’ve … Continue reading Stanley Kauffmann, 1916-2013

Big (Sad) Day at Expert Witness

I can’t say I often make it through comments threads at Christgau’s Expert Witness blog, but this one’s a doozy for two reasons: 1) The Dean drops a bombshell: “Just woke up so I won’t go into too much detail at the moment, but now I can make it official. As rumored, Expert Witness will be no more at MSN as of October 1. As … Continue reading Big (Sad) Day at Expert Witness