New York magazine sacks John Simon
Posted 12 May 2005 - 07:02 PM
There are things I dislike about Simon's writing, but there are very few critics around with his background in the arts and he's shown no signs of senility in print. I cancelled my subscription to New York when Tobias got the boot, but if I hadn't already done so I'd cancel it now. (Nothing against McCarter.)
Posted 12 May 2005 - 07:19 PM
Posted 14 May 2005 - 03:59 PM
In a way this is poetic justice. I haven't read Simon in years, but I distinctly remember his comments on the age and appearance of actors who displeased him. Ruth Gordon was the victim of a particularly savage attack.
Well I stopped New York Mag last year, but I too had stopped reading Simon years ago.
I was turned off my the nasty, sarcastic comments.
A few years ago on the way to BAM, I was in an elevator with him, and I heard him commenting on the negative feedback (to be discrete) his reviews generated and he chuckled about it.
Posted 16 May 2005 - 10:18 AM
Simon isn’t the most sympathetic of victims, but there are very few critics out there who know as much and have seen as much as he has, which I thought was more to the point.
Posted 16 May 2005 - 10:34 AM
Posted 16 May 2005 - 11:50 AM
Posted 16 May 2005 - 01:17 PM
Another article on the topic, from the Los Angeles Times:
"It was time to do something new," Moss explained in a phone interview. "I think you would be hard pressed to find a critic at any other publication or in any other art form who has had as long a run."
Simon, who can be found in the May 9 issue heaping contempt upon a "degrading, detestable" production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and warning of "rotary earthquakes" near the grave of Marlon Brando, brushed his employer's praise aside. "I seem to be in possession of all my faculties. People tell me that my writing has not fallen off in any way. I'm physically un-disabled," the critic said Tuesday. "But I am old, and no doubt I have a point of view that is not a point of view of young folks today. I can see what they're up to, and I can't say that I cannot understand it. I just didn't think it would come at this time, and without any previous warning."
Stanley Kauffmann has been film critic for The New Republic since about 1968, and he started writing for the magazine well before that. He’s going strong, too. I hope TNR doesn’t follow suit and throw the geezer out on his ear.
Posted 16 May 2005 - 01:53 PM
Posted 16 May 2005 - 02:40 PM
Simon is a regular contributor to The New Criterion on matters literary, so he's not disappearing from the map. (He could be advantageously substituted for Mark Steyn as theatre critic, IMO.......)
Posted 16 May 2005 - 03:34 PM
I winced at many a Simon column when I read New York (which I haven't for many years; I'd just read the dance coverage, when there was dance coverage). But I also admired him for going, week after week, to mediocre work and saying it was mediocre. I have a soft spot for critics who can't be hyped. Then on the next week -- the 21st, say, after a run of 20 pans -- he'd see something he thought was genuinely good and he'd say so. I admired that rigor. It's hard to do that.
I'm glad he's still writing.
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