Best Quotes about Criticism
David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl. I'm sorry that the only comment I get about the part is the way I look. [Commenting on the critics' response to her performance in Blue Velvet]
All the critics who could not make their reputations by discovering you are hoping to make them by predicting hopefully your approaching impotence, failure and general drying up of natural juices. Not a one will wish you luck or hope that you will keep on writing unless you have political affiliations in which case these will rally around and speak of you and Homer, Balzac, Zola and Link Steffens.
Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Hardly a book of human worth, be it heaven's own secret, is honestly placed before the reader; it is either shunned, given a Periclean funeral oration in a hundred and fifty words, or interred in the potter's field of the newspapers back pages.
The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
Critics are already made.
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
The biggest critics of my books are people who never read them.
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.
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.
Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood.
If what they are saying about you is true, mend your ways. If it isn't true, forget it, and go on and serve the Lord.
Ironside, H. A.
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 critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
A film is just like a muffin. You make it. You put it on the table. One person might say, Oh, I don't like it. One might say it's the best muffin ever made. One might say it's an awful muffin. It's hard for me to say. It's for me to make the muffin.
Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.
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.
Now, in reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them to be men of much greater profundity than they really are.
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
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.
Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
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.
As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers which are always repulsed by the anvil.
Helvetius, Claude A.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
People who ask for your criticism want only praise.
Maugham, W. Somerset
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Cioran, E. M.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
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.
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.
It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
Criticism is often not a science; it is a craft, requiring more good health than wit, more hard work than talent, more habit than native genius. In the hands of a man who has read widely but lacks judgment, applied to certain subjects it can corrupt both its readers and the writer himself.
Bruyere, Jean De La
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.
If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
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.
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.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
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.
Eliot, T. S.
Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.
Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
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.
Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
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.
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