Best Quotes about Criticism
I know I'm never as good or bad as one single performance. I've never believed in my critics or my worshippers, and I've always been able to leave the game at the arena.
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.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
W. H. Auden
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.
A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's mature critics often are.
Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
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.
We protest against unjust criticism but we accept unarmed applause.
It is very perplexing how an intrepid frontier people, who fought a wilderness, floods, tornadoes, and the Rockies, cower before criticism, which is regarded as a malignant tumor in the imagination.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
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
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters.
One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell
Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.
Tacitus, Publius Cornelius
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.
The rule in carving holds good as to criticism; never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.
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.
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion. Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
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 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?
Give me the critic bred in Nature's school, who neither talks by rote, nor thinks by rule; who feeling's honest dictates still obeys, and dares, without a precedent, to praise.
Shee, Sir Martin Archer
Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe
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.
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
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
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.
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.
As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
Never make the mistake of assuming the critters will beat a path to your door.
Mascotte, John P.
Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.
Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
The best criticism doesn't trap an employee or child in a dead end. It gives them an escape route.
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
A critic is a man who knows the way, but can't drive the car.
I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic."
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