Best Quotes about Criticism
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
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
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
Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.
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.
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
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.
In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
Carruthers, Charles Edwin
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
There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
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.
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.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
Critical remarks are only made by people who love you.
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.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
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.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
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.
Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
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.
Critics are those who have failed in literature and art.
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
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
A friend is a lot of things, but a critic isn't.
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.
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.
If I care to listen to every criticism, let alone act on them, then this shop may as well be closed for all other businesses. I have learned to do my best, and if the end result is good then I do not care for any criticism, but if the end result is not good, then even the praise of ten angels would not make the difference.
A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
Critics are usually kinder to cheaper movies than to those they perceive to be big Hollywood releases. They cut you a lot more slack if you spend less money, which makes no sense.
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
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.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
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.
The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell
It is wrong to be harsh with the New York critics, unless one admits in the same breath that it is a condition of their existence that they should write entertainingly about something which is rarely worth writing about at all.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
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.
Never make the mistake of assuming the critters will beat a path to your door.
Mascotte, John P.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
You're never s good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works. An assault upon a town is a bad thing; but starving it is still worse.
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