When Arthur Miller died this past February, I asked whether he wrote anything worth reading or seeing after Death of a Salesman in 1949. In the ensuing days Miller was celebrated in the tony newspapers and magazines as a latter-day Shakespeare. It would be something of an understatement to say that it was Miller’s politics rather than his literary accomplishments that accounted for the celebration.
Joining me at the end of the limb reserved for dissenters on Miller’s greatness was the New Criterion (here). In its March Notes & Comments, the New Criterion called the effusions on the occasion of Miller’s death “an outpouring of pious liberal sentimentality.” The magazine’s dissent on Miller’s greatness, however, apparently could not be allowed to stand.
In his speech at the memorial held for Miller on Tuesday at the Majestic Theater in New York, playwright Edward Albee “lash[ed] out at the neoconservative New Criterion magazine because of what he called a ‘vile and sniggering unsigned editorial’ written about Mr. Miller after his death.” At Armavirumque New Criterion managing editor Roger Kimball confesses to the crime and shows that he’s a recidivist in “Edward Albee’s sniggering eulogy.”
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell