Criticism

Left: cartoon of Hector Berlioz published in the Wiener Theaterzeitung in 1846. Right: the composer in 1863, aged 59

David Cairns explains how we learned to love Berlioz

2 March 2019 9:00 am

According to his friend and fellow-composer Ernest Reyer, the last words Berlioz spoke on his deathbed were: ‘They are finally…

Christopher Hitchens (Photo: Getty)

Cultured — and combative — criticism from America

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Four years after his death, it is still faintly surprising to recall that Christopher Hitchens is no longer resident on…

I was wrong to criticise using ‘critique’ as a verb

3 October 2015 8:00 am

I lost my husband on the way from Malabar. He is easily lost. We had been talking about the verb…

Oh no: On the Road’s a masterpiece. So what else have I missed?

29 August 2015 9:00 am

This week’s column is dedicated to all those of you who have never read Catcher in the Rye and who,…

Why the BBC will never match Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation

17 May 2014 9:00 am

No modern critic would dare match Kenneth Clark’s fearless way with sweeping statements

Dot Wordsworth's week in words: Did William Empson have the first clue what 'bare ruined choirs' meant?

5 October 2013 9:00 am

I am shocked to find that William Empson, famous for his technique of close reading, was no good at reading…

Can I turn the West London Free School into Fame Academy?

20 July 2013 9:00 am

‘Another opening, another show,’ sang five-year-old Charlie on his way to school this morning — and then proceeded to belt…