Best Quotes about Criticism
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
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.
We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism.
Eliot, T. S.
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.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
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.
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.
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
Most of us are umpires at heart; we like to call balls and strikes on somebody else.
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
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.
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.
Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Jones, Franklin P.
When the critics come around it's always too late.
Nolan, Sir Sidney
You should not say it is not good. You should say you do not like it; and then, you know, you're perfectly safe.
Whistler, James Mcneill
Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather that its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as a bad heart of Procreates turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
All the world's a stage, and all the clergymen critics.
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
Native American Proverb
A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
Lowell, James Russell
If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.
Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!
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.
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
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.
A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach.
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.
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
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?
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
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
Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.
The text is merely one of the contexts of a piece of literature, its lexical or verbal one, no more or less important than the sociological, psychological, historical, anthropological or generic.
A good drama critic is one who perceives what is happening in the theatre of his time. A great drama critic also perceives what is not happening.
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.
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.
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
Beecher, Henry Ward
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von
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.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
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
The television critic, whatever his pretensions, does not labor in the same vineyard as those he criticizes; his grapes are all sour.
They condemn what they do not understand.
Cicero, Marcus T.
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.
The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.
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