Best Quotes about Criticism
All my life people have said that I wasn't going to make it.
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 been educated to such a fine -- or dull -- point that we are incapable of enjoying something new, something different, until we are first told what it's all about. We don't trust our five senses; we rely on our critics and educators, all of whom are failures in the realm of creation. In short, the blind lead the blind. It's the democratic way.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
Critical remarks are only made by people who love you.
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.
A sneer is the weapon of the weak.
Lowell, James Russell
Recognize the cunning man not by the corpses he pays homage to but by the living writers he conspires against with the most shameful weapon, Silence, or the briefest review.
Did some more sober critics come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
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.
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.
Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening.
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Cioran, E. M.
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
Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
It is impossible to think of a man of any actual force and originality, universally recognized as having those qualities, who spent his whole life appraising and describing the work of other men.
Mencken, H. L.
Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
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.
The easiest thing a human being can do is to criticize another human being.
Little, Lynn M.
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.
A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
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
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge
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.
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.
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
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.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
The dread of criticism is the death of genius.
Simms, William Gilmore
Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.
That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilized form of autobiography.
Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.
Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career.
A critic is a man who knows the way, but can't drive the car.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
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