Best Quotes about Criticism
Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
Every writer is necessarily a critic -- that is, each sentence is a skeleton accompanied by enormous activity of rejection; and each selection is governed by general principles concerning truth, force, beauty, and so on. The critic that is in every fabulist is like the iceberg -- nine-tenths of him is under water.
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 the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
When the critics come around it's always too late.
Nolan, Sir Sidney
Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead!
What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
Critics are those who have failed in literature and art.
If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.
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.
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.
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
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.
Critics are already made.
When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely wrong -- or you are absolutely right.
I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic."
Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.
Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.
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.
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
Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
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.
The great critic must be a philosopher, for from philosophy he will learn serenity, impartiality, and the transitoriness of human things.
Maugham, W. Somerset
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.
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
Cicero, Marcus T.
They will say you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.
Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
For if there is anything to one's praise, it is foolish vanity to be gratified at it, and if it is abuse -- why one is always sure to hear of it from one damned good-natured friend or another!
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley
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.
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
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.
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
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
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.
The whole effort of a sincere man is to erect his personal impressions into laws.
Gourmont, Remy De
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
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
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.
David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl. I'm sorry that the only comment I get about the part is the way I look. [Commenting on the critics' response to her performance in Blue Velvet]
A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
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