When Once The Critics Were Titans

A new biography takes the measure of Clement Greenberg. “The power of critics such as Clement Greenberg in art or Edmund Wilson in literature — both did much to shape elite and popular taste in the mid-20th century — is hard to imagine today. Contemporary art is self-parodic and insulated against Greenberg’s style of criticism, and art-world success is now determined almost exclusively in the marketplace, not on the printed page.”