Best Quotes about Criticism
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
I know I'm never as good or bad as one single performance. I've never believed in my critics or my worshippers, and I've always been able to leave the game at the arena.
The critical method which denies literary modernity would appear -- and even, in certain respects, would be -- the most modern of critical movements.
Man, Paul De
A film is just like a muffin. You make it. You put it on the table. One person might say, Oh, I don't like it. One might say it's the best muffin ever made. One might say it's an awful muffin. It's hard for me to say. It's for me to make the muffin.
Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
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.
We protest against unjust criticism but we accept unarmed applause.
For if there is anything to one's praise, it is foolish vanity to be gratified at it, and if it is abuse -- why one is always sure to hear of it from one damned good-natured friend or another!
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley
Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick. They can only bring you the scores.
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.
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.
We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism.
Eliot, T. S.
The rule in carving holds good as to criticism; never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.
A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
Lowell, James Russell
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.
The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.
It is just as hard to do your duty when men are sneering at you as when they are shouting at you.
Wilson, Woodrow T.
A louse in the locks of literature.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.
Let me walk three weeks in the footsteps of my enemy, carry the same burden, have the same trials as he, before I say one word to criticize.
Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.
I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.
Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
They condemn what they do not understand.
Cicero, Marcus T.
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.
In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.
God knows people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp followers.
Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
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