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.
Best Quotes about Criticism
Professional critics are incapable of distinguishing and appreciating either diamonds in the rough or gold in bars. They are traders, and in literature know only the coins that are current. Their critical lab has scales and weights, but neither crucible or touchstone.
Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
Fox, Dr. Emmit
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.
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.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
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.
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.
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fruit in the created work later.
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.
Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead!
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.
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.
Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
Criticism should be a casual conversation.
Auden, W. H.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
When I am abroad, I always make it a rule to never criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
The television critic, whatever his pretensions, does not labor in the same vineyard as those he criticizes; his grapes are all sour.
Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.
If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge
One does not lash hat lies at a distance. The foibles that we ridicule must at least be a little bit our own. Only then will the work be a part of our own flesh. The garden must be weeded.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
A louse in the locks of literature.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred
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.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
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.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
H. L. Mencken
When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely wrong -- or you are absolutely right.
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.
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
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
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
Cicero, Marcus T.
It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
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.
In my conscience I believe the baggage loves me, for she never speaks well of me herself, nor suffers any body else to rail at me.
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
Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works.
Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
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