Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention.
Best Quotes about Criticism
It is wrong to be harsh with the New York critics, unless one admits in the same breath that it is a condition of their existence that they should write entertainingly about something which is rarely worth writing about at all.
The easiest thing a human being can do is to criticize another human being.
Little, Lynn M.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
It is very perplexing how an intrepid frontier people, who fought a wilderness, floods, tornadoes, and the Rockies, cower before criticism, which is regarded as a malignant tumor in the imagination.
Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather that its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as a bad heart of Procreates turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Did some more sober critics come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
In an age of unscrupulous and shameless book-making, it is a duty to give notice of the rubbish that cumbers the ground. There is no credit, no real power required for this task. It is the work of an intellectual scavenger, and far from being specially honorable.
Hutton, R. H.
Criticism is often not a science; it is a craft, requiring more good health than wit, more hard work than talent, more habit than native genius. In the hands of a man who has read widely but lacks judgment, applied to certain subjects it can corrupt both its readers and the writer himself.
Bruyere, Jean De La
There is an air of last things, a brooding sense of impending annihilation, about so much deconstructive activity, in so many of its guises; it is not merely postmodernist but preapocalyptic.
Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- criticize.
A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
Lowell, James Russell
We have our little theory on all human and divine things. Poetry, the workings of genius itself, which, in all times, with one or another meaning, has been called Inspiration, and held to be mysterious and inscrutable, is no longer without its scientific exposition. The building of the lofty rhyme is like any other masonry or bricklaying: we have theories of its rise, height, decline and fall -- which latter, it would seem, is now near, among all people.
Post-modernism has cut off the present from all futures. The daily media add to this by cutting off the past. Which means that critical opinion is often orphaned in the present.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
The true critic is he who bears within himself the dreams and ideas and feelings of myriad generations, and to whom no form of thought is alien, no emotional impulse obscure.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.
Tacitus, Publius Cornelius
Give me the critic bred in Nature's school, who neither talks by rote, nor thinks by rule; who feeling's honest dictates still obeys, and dares, without a precedent, to praise.
Shee, Sir Martin Archer
If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity than they really are.
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
Fox, Dr. Emmit
Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
One of the grotesqueries of present-day American life is the amount of reasoning that goes into displaying the wisdom secreted in bad movies while proving that modern art is meaningless. They have put into practice the notion that a bad art work cleverly interpreted according to some obscure Method is more rewarding than a masterpiece wrapped in silence.
Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
Some people are always critical of vague statements. I tend rather to be critical of precise statements; they are the only ones which can correctly be labeled wrong.
A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
If I care to listen to every criticism, let alone act on them, then this shop may as well be closed for all other businesses. I have learned to do my best, and if the end result is good then I do not care for any criticism, but if the end result is not good, then even the praise of ten angels would not make the difference.
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!
If what they are saying about you is true, mend your ways. If it isn't true, forget it, and go on and serve the Lord.
Ironside, H. A.
When the critics come around it's always too late.
Nolan, Sir Sidney
The whole effort of a sincere man is to erect his personal impressions into laws.
Gourmont, Remy De
I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works. An assault upon a town is a bad thing; but starving it is still worse.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
Carruthers, Charles Edwin
I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
Thoreau, Henry David
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
There's a fine line between participation and mockery.
A sneer is the weapon of the weak.
Lowell, James Russell
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Culture is only true when implicitly critical, and the mind which forgets this revenges itself in the critics it breeds. Criticism is an indispensable element of culture.
Adorno, Theodor W.
A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
What we ask of him is, that he should find out for us more than we can find out for ourselves. He must have the passion of a lover.
David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl. I'm sorry that the only comment I get about the part is the way I look. [Commenting on the critics' response to her performance in Blue Velvet]
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