Best Quotes about Criticism
We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
Beecher, Henry Ward
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
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.
Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
The great critic must be a philosopher, for from philosophy he will learn serenity, impartiality, and the transitoriness of human things.
Maugham, W. Somerset
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
Native American Proverb
A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach.
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.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway.
A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
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.
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.
You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you're cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism.
Maugham, W. Somerset
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
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.
The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art -- and, by analogy, our own experience -- more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means.
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.
When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely wrong -- or you are absolutely right.
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.
When subjected to the rain of criticism, let?s not curse the rain. Let?s accept it as a part of life. Let?s remember that the more criticism we can successfully handle, the more zest we will experience in our lives.
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.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
I remember when I was in college, people told me I couldn't play in the NBA. There's always somebody saying you can't do it, and those people have to be ignored.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's mature critics often are.
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.
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
All my life people have said that I wasn't going to make it.
It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
Cicero, Marcus T.
The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
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.
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.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.
No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred
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.
Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.
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