Best Quotes about 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.
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.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
W. H. Auden
The literary critic, or the critic of any other specific form of artistic expression, may detach himself from the world for as long as the work of art he is contemplating appears to do the same.
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.
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
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.
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
Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
Criticism should be a casual conversation.
Auden, W. H.
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.
Critics are usually kinder to cheaper movies than to those they perceive to be big Hollywood releases. They cut you a lot more slack if you spend less money, which makes no sense.
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.
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
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
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
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.
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.
The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.
La Bruyere, Jean De
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Cioran, E. M.
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.
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.
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
Native American Proverb
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
They will say you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.
A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
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.
Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway.
Culture is only true when implicitly critical, and the mind which forgets this revenges itself in the critics it breeds. Criticism is an indispensable element of culture.
Adorno, Theodor W.
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.
The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
Nothing would improve newspaper criticism so much as the knowledge that it was to be read by men too hardy to acquiesce in the authoritative statement of the reviewer.
Hutton, R. H.
You're never s good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.
To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own.
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.
Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
Lawrence, D. H.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
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 the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
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