Best Quotes about Criticism
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.
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
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.
It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
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.
The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.
The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
Auden, W. H.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
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.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
A louse in the locks of literature.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Some people are always critical of vague statements. I tend rather to be critical of precise statements; they are the only ones which can correctly be labeled wrong.
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.
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.
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.
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 comes easier than craftsmanship.
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
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
A sneer is the weapon of the weak.
Lowell, James Russell
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
Neither praise or blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe, and honestly to award. These are the true aims and duties of criticism.
Simms, William Gilmore
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.
When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely wrong -- or you are absolutely right.
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career.
Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
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.
Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.
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
Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
The critical method which denies literary modernity would appear -- and even, in certain respects, would be -- the most modern of critical movements.
Man, Paul De
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
Fox, Dr. Emmit
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.
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.
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.
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