Best Quotes about Criticism
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.
Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
You're never s good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
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
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
The greatest honor that can be paid to the work of art, on its pedestal of ritual display, is to describe it with sensory completeness. We need a science of description. Criticism is ceremonial revivification.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
Since we cannot attain unto it, let us revenge ourselves with railing against it.
Montaigne, Michel Eyquem De
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
The great critic must be a philosopher, for from philosophy he will learn serenity, impartiality, and the transitoriness of human things.
Maugham, W. Somerset
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
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.
No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself.
Tennyson, Lord Alfred
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.
Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
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.
If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, then ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
Cicero, Marcus T.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
There are two insults no human will endure. The assertion that he has no sense of humor and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.
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.
As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
The dread of criticism is the death of genius.
Simms, William Gilmore
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.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
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.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
Let me walk three weeks in the footsteps of my enemy, carry the same burden, have the same trials as he, before I say one word to criticize.
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.
Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
A sneer is the weapon of the weak.
Lowell, James Russell
A reader who quarrels with postulates, who dislikes Hamlet because he does not believe that there are ghosts or that people speak in pentameters, clearly has no business in literature. He cannot distinguish fiction from fact, and belongs in the same category as the people who send checks to radio stations for the relief of suffering heroines in soap operas.
It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
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.
We have been educated to such a fine -- or dull -- point that we are incapable of enjoying something new, something different, until we are first told what it's all about. We don't trust our five senses; we rely on our critics and educators, all of whom are failures in the realm of creation. In short, the blind lead the blind. It's the democratic way.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Critical remarks are only made by people who love you.
Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- criticize.
If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.
People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
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.
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.
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
To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own.
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.
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