Best Quotes about Criticism
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.
In reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them men of much greater profundity than they really are.
The true critic is he who bears within himself the dreams and ideas and feelings of myriad generations, and to whom no form of thought is alien, no emotional impulse obscure.
Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.
Galbraith, John Kenneth
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
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
The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
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.
The greatest honor that can be paid to the work of art, on its pedestal of ritual display, is to describe it with sensory completeness. We need a science of description. Criticism is ceremonial revivification.
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 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.
Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
Cioran, E. M.
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.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
The best criticism doesn't trap an employee or child in a dead end. It gives them an escape route.
All the world's a stage, and all the clergymen critics.
Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
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
A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.
Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
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.
In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
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.
I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic."
People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.
The television critic, whatever his pretensions, does not labor in the same vineyard as those he criticizes; his grapes are all sour.
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.
La Bruyere, Jean De
Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
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
Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers which are always repulsed by the anvil.
Helvetius, Claude A.
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.
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.
What we ask of him is, that he should find out for us more than we can find out for ourselves. He must have the passion of a lover.
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
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.
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
The great critic must be a philosopher, for from philosophy he will learn serenity, impartiality, and the transitoriness of human things.
Maugham, W. Somerset
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
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