Quotes about Criticism

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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.

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.
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?
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
When subjected to the rain of criticism, let?s not curse the rain. Let?s accept it as a part of life. Let?s remember that the more criticism we can successfully handle, the more zest we will experience in our lives.
Neither praise or blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe, and honestly to award. These are the true aims and duties of criticism.
The dread of criticism is the death of genius.
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!
A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
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.
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.
As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.
In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great men in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the man, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.
A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach.
When a man spends his time giving his wife criticism and advice instead of compliments, he forgets that it was not his good judgment, but his charming manners, that won her heart.
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
David Lynch came out of it a genius, and I came out of it a fat girl. I'm sorry that the only comment I get about the part is the way I look. [Commenting on the critics' response to her performance in Blue Velvet]
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.
Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
The television critic, whatever his pretensions, does not labor in the same vineyard as those he criticizes; his grapes are all sour.
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.
They will say you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.
Did some more sober critics come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don't start measuring her limbs.
Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
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.
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.
All the world's a stage, and all the clergymen critics.
No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
We protest against unjust criticism but we accept unarmed applause.
When the critics come around it's always too late.
A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
We are suffering from too much sarcasm.
Since we cannot attain unto it, let us revenge ourselves with railing against it.
A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
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.

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