Best Quotes about Criticism
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.
Criticism is often not a science; it is a craft, requiring more good health than wit, more hard work than talent, more habit than native genius. In the hands of a man who has read widely but lacks judgment, applied to certain subjects it can corrupt both its readers and the writer himself.
Bruyere, Jean De La
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.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard.
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.
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.
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.
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
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention.
Burroughs, William S.
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!
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.
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
Fox, Dr. Emmit
It is just as hard to do your duty when men are sneering at you as when they are shouting at you.
Wilson, Woodrow T.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
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.
No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
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
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.
Professional critics are incapable of distinguishing and appreciating either diamonds in the rough or gold in bars. They are traders, and in literature know only the coins that are current. Their critical lab has scales and weights, but neither crucible or touchstone.
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.
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.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
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.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
W. H. Auden
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.
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.
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.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
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.
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
People who ask for your criticism want only praise.
Maugham, W. Somerset
I remember when I was in college, people told me I couldn't play in the NBA. There's always somebody saying you can't do it, and those people have to be ignored.
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.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
Olivier, Sir Lawrence
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
Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it fascinating.
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
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.
Critics are already made.
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.
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