Best Quotes about Criticism
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.
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
Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
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.
Post-modernism has cut off the present from all futures. The daily media add to this by cutting off the past. Which means that critical opinion is often orphaned in the present.
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.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
They will say you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
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.
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.
Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell
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.
Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
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.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
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.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
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.
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
If I make a move, like raise my eyebrows, some critic says I'm doing Nicholson. What am I supposed to do, cut off my eyebrows?
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
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.
That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilized form of autobiography.
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!
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.
Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.
Critics are those who have failed in literature and art.
I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic."
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
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.
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
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.
Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense. He whom nature has made weak, and idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of a critic.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
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.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
Thoreau, Henry David
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
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.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
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.
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