Critics bashing critics
Posted 17 October 2002 - 08:19 AM
Posted 09 October 2002 - 03:24 PM
Barnes is not my favorite critic, to put it mildly, but again noting that I haven't read the item, this isn't necessarily out of line.
I certainly didn't see anything in the original article to wig out about; Homans said little that others haven't.
Posted 10 October 2002 - 09:47 AM
Posted 10 October 2002 - 10:46 AM
Posted 14 October 2002 - 10:00 AM
However, I'd add that younger people who don't know Barnes' "history" might do well to learn something about it.
Posted 14 October 2002 - 04:50 PM
As Alexandra notes, this kind of thing appeared mostly in Croce's early collection, Afterimages. I wonder if using other critics as a punching bag is characteristic mainly of critics who are just starting to stake out their positions. Pauline Kael's first collection, I Lost It At the Movies, is full of the same kind of thing.
Posted 24 October 2002 - 12:44 PM
Posted 25 October 2002 - 03:33 PM
I agree that dissenting views should always be welcome. It's too bad that the article wasn't all it might have been, because there is a case to be made, whether one agrees with it or not.
Posted 10 October 2002 - 06:04 AM
Although I haven't read the piece either, I suspect that Barnes is referring to a famous New Yorker cartoon from the 1920s in which a little boy reacts to his mother's serving him vegetables by saying, "I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it." The line has become a way of calling a spade a spade.
(In those days, children did not swear.)
Posted 13 October 2002 - 03:15 PM
Posted 14 October 2002 - 03:56 PM
Posted 12 October 2002 - 05:05 AM
Homan's article was light weight. I thought it something of an antidote, however, to the rentless boosterism of the Times with respect to nearly everything at NYCB.
It was important that Gottlieb's history with Balanchine and then Martins be known to those who read his pieces, so that they could evaluate his credibility, as a lawyer might say, and reach an opinion as to the weight to give his views. I wonder how many of the younger readers of Dance Magazine will be similarly aware of Barnes's history as critical lap dog for the company, when they read him bashing Homans.
Posted 26 October 2002 - 05:44 AM
The Directorate there is famous for being sensitive to the point of defensiveness about criticism. The Times has provided a great deal of critical "cover" for the company over the years and the Homans' piece could well have "drawn" psychic "blood" there, particularly when more minor criticisms appear to have drawn a defensive reaction over the years. It does not overstate the case to say that Barnes has responded to criticism of City Ballet in the past, particularly when the criticism was prominent and the company needed a prominent rebuttle (as in the Croce incident discussed above). Does this mean I think NYCB actually suggested that he provide a rebuttle to Homans? I think it is at least plausible.
And in any event I found his reference to a critic needing to be "unbiased" quite humerous.
Posted 09 October 2002 - 02:34 PM
While I admit, I'm not a fan of Mr. Barnes, I've seen him asleep at more performances than I can count. I was quite taken back at his editorial.
It concerns the recent, controversial article by Jennifer Homans in the NY Times "Where is the Heartbeat in the Balanchine Legacy".
Mr. Barnes starts the article saying hope "opinions in the arts are only as good as the people making them" and then goes on about Ms. Homans. who he's never heard of but cites that she "apparently writes about dance for The New Republic" and her dance background(SAB then PNB).
He doesn't really refute any of the points she made in her piece, his response is "spinach" and "double spinach" (I'm completely lost on that meaning) he just expresses dismay at how the NY Times printed such a piece especially since Ms. Homans completely contradicts the "brilliant, knowledgeable and experienced Anna Kisselgoff".
I was completely shocked by the piece. Instead of knocking Ms. Homans, perhaps he should have just written a piece on what good is going on at City Ballet. I still am completely amazed, at what I would consider completely unprofessional behavior.
The last line clinched it
"benighted, foolish editor who either commissioned you or accepted you. Dance history will see you both out, unnoticed".
Perhaps it's time Mr. Barnes takes his 60 plus years of experience and put it to some decent reviews as opposed to bashing a fellow colleague.
I've lost what little respect I had for the man.
Posted 10 October 2002 - 06:18 AM
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