What this country needs is a good annual anthology of criticism. One often hears about the dearth of good criticism, and what a way to remedy the situation this would be. If someone culls the best writing on literature, dance, music, theatre, art, architecture, and anything else cultural from scholarly journals, general interest magazines, and daily papers, there would be plenty of good commentary that would find a larger audience, and perhaps spur on a greater appreciation and more practitioners of the craft.
Houghton Mifflin offers almost an entire catalog of thematic anthologies (The Best American Comics, The Best American Essays, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Spiritual Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, and The Best American Travel Writing), and other publishers have their versions as well (The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The Best Creative Nonfiction, Best Food Writing, Best Music Writing, The Best Buddhist Writing, Best American Political Writing, The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Crime Reporting, and The Best of Technology Writing are all titles I turned up in just a few minutes on Amazon). The number of different titles and publishers involved appears to be expanding every year. Clearly this is a growth industry, which is a rare thing these days.
Even if Houghton Mifflin and the other publishers who already have such series underway pass on it, an enterprising university press could have a real success with this. So, intrepid editors, have at it. And when you do, please keep me in mind for a lifetime subscription.