Best Quotes about Criticism
He who throws dirt always loses ground.
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
Nothing would improve newspaper criticism so much as the knowledge that it was to be read by men too hardy to acquiesce in the authoritative statement of the reviewer.
Hutton, R. H.
Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
You're never s good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard.
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.
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
It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
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
After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
H. L. Mencken
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.
Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- criticize.
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.
If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense. He whom nature has made weak, and idleness keeps ignorant, may yet support his vanity by the name of a critic.
The true critic is he who bears within himself the dreams and ideas and feelings of myriad generations, and to whom no form of thought is alien, no emotional impulse obscure.
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.
Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.
Tacitus, Publius Cornelius
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
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.
Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
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.
In an age of unscrupulous and shameless book-making, it is a duty to give notice of the rubbish that cumbers the ground. There is no credit, no real power required for this task. It is the work of an intellectual scavenger, and far from being specially honorable.
Hutton, R. H.
The best criticism doesn't trap an employee or child in a dead end. It gives them an escape route.
Recognize the cunning man not by the corpses he pays homage to but by the living writers he conspires against with the most shameful weapon, Silence, or the briefest review.
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.
A friend is a lot of things, but a critic isn't.
Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
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.
I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fruit in the created work later.
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.
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
They condemn what they do not understand.
Cicero, Marcus T.
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.
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.
Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers which are always repulsed by the anvil.
Helvetius, Claude A.
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
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.
Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
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.
People who ask for your criticism want only praise.
Maugham, W. Somerset
I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
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.
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
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.
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