A Distinction without Discipline

If Crosby’s reform were enacted, priests would have to judge the souls of their flock. The remarried would be divided into those whose lives have a Dostoevskian tragic resonance, and those who are merely “common adulteresses.” This cruel charade would collapse before it began. Continue Reading »

The Unpopular Popular Humanities

To become an egalitarian in the area of beauty was to cancel your full appreciation of what is great and profound. We all like to slum it, sometimes, but to get too enthusiastic about pop culture materials or, worse, to take them seriously as objects of aesthetic judgment—well, that was an abdication of the critic's responsibilities, not to mention a sign of vulgar taste. Continue Reading »