Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.
Best Quotes about Criticism
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
There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
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.
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
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
W. H. Auden
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?
You should never assume contempt for that which it is not very manifest that you have it in your power to possess, nor does a wit ever make a more contemptible figure than when, in attempting satire, he shows that he does not understand that which he would make the subject of his ridicule.
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.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
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.
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.
What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
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.
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.
Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
Lowell, James Russell
Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
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.
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers which are always repulsed by the anvil.
Helvetius, Claude A.
In reality, the world have paid too great a compliment to critics, and have imagined them men of much greater profundity than they really are.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.
La Bruyere, Jean De
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.
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.
The critical opinions of a writer should always be taken with a large grain of salt. For the most part, they are manifestations of his debate with himself as to what he should do next and what he should avoid.
Auden, W. H.
He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
Cicero, Marcus T.
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.
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.
A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
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.
Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- criticize.
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
Native American Proverb
Blame is safer than praise.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
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.
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.
Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
It is impossible to think of a man of any actual force and originality, universally recognized as having those qualities, who spent his whole life appraising and describing the work of other men.
Mencken, H. L.
We protest against unjust criticism but we accept unarmed applause.
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