Best Quotes about Criticism
Critical remarks are only made by people who love you.
A reader who quarrels with postulates, who dislikes Hamlet because he does not believe that there are ghosts or that people speak in pentameters, clearly has no business in literature. He cannot distinguish fiction from fact, and belongs in the same category as the people who send checks to radio stations for the relief of suffering heroines in soap operas.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
Native American Proverb
The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
Auden, W. H.
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
You should not say it is not good. You should say you do not like it; and then, you know, you're perfectly safe.
Whistler, James Mcneill
Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
Literary criticism can be no more than a reasoned account of the feeling produced upon the critic by the book he is criticizing. Criticism can never be a science: it is, in the first place, much too personal, and in the second, it is concerned with values that science ignores. The touchstone is emotion, not reason. We judge a work of art by its effect on our sincere and vital emotion, and nothing else. All the critical twiddle-twaddle about style and form, all this pseudoscientific classifying and analyzing of books in an imitation-botanical fashion, is mere impertinence and mostly dull jargon.
Lawrence, D. H.
Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
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
Never make the mistake of assuming the critters will beat a path to your door.
Mascotte, John P.
There's a fine line between participation and mockery.
A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
The text is merely one of the contexts of a piece of literature, its lexical or verbal one, no more or less important than the sociological, psychological, historical, anthropological or generic.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
The avocation of assessing the failures of better men can be turned into a comfortable livelihood, providing you back it up with a Ph.D.
You should never assume contempt for that which it is not very manifest that you have it in your power to possess, nor does a wit ever make a more contemptible figure than when, in attempting satire, he shows that he does not understand that which he would make the subject of his ridicule.
There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world -- in order to set up a shadow world of meanings.
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
Criticism should be a casual conversation.
Auden, W. H.
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
They condemn what they do not understand.
Cicero, Marcus T.
Unless criticism refuses to take itself quite so seriously or at least to permit its readers not to, it will inevitably continue to reflect the finicky canons of the genteel tradition and the depressing pieties of the Culture Religion of Modernism.
The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.
La Bruyere, Jean De
All my life people have said that I wasn't going to make it.
A critic is a man who knows the way, but can't drive the car.
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.
Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
Most of us are umpires at heart; we like to call balls and strikes on somebody else.
There are two modes of criticism. One which crushes to earth without mercy all the humble buds of Phantasy, all the plants that, though green and fruitful, are also a prey to insects or have suffered by drought. It weeds well the garden, and cannot believe the weed in its native soil may be a pretty, graceful plant. There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.
The whole effort of a sincere man is to erect his personal impressions into laws.
Gourmont, Remy De
I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic."
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.
The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely wrong -- or you are absolutely right.
If I make a move, like raise my eyebrows, some critic says I'm doing Nicholson. What am I supposed to do, cut off my eyebrows?
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
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.
Burroughs, William S.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
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