No writing thrills like a sharp piece of criticism. Great criticism is an invigorator, a world-expander, a perpetual-motion machine — a reminder that finding out how other people see a thing is sometimes more exciting than the thing itself. It can make you mad. It can make you laugh. It can even be a high-wire act: How’s the writer going to pull this off?
As a culture features editor at New York, I’m well aware that our roster of critics is a rarity these days. Our critics cover everything from TV to New York restaurants, architecture to fashion, and that’s been the case since 1968. Now as every movie or book begins its life cycle online — praised, trashed, defended — our critics cut through, going beyond good and bad to help us get a grip on the moment.
This Friday, New York will launch a weekly newsletter called The Critics. If you decide to follow along, I’ll be your guide to all the reviews and critical essays we publish across our sites every week. I’ll also be in conversation with our critics — talking about their work and taking on the arguments that shape how we see culture now. It’s the kind of high-low brilliant-despicable digest of ideas that only New York could provide.
Everyone’s a critic, but not every newsletter’s The Critics.