219 quotes about Critics and Criticism
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There's a fine line between participation and mockery.
  View quote | Adams, Scott quotes

Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.
  View quote | Addison, Joseph quotes

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.
  View quote | Adorno, Theodor W. quotes

Most of us are umpires at heart; we like to call balls and strikes on somebody else.
  View quote | Aikman, Leo quotes

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.
  View quote | Algren, Nelson quotes

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.
  View quote | Auden, W. H. quotes

Criticism should be a casual conversation.
  View quote | Auden, W. H. quotes

I know I'm never as good or bad as one single performance. I've never believed in my critics or my worshippers, and I've always been able to leave the game at the arena.
  View quote | Barkley, Charles quotes

To be just, that is to say, to justify its existence, criticism should be partial, passionate and political, that is to say, written from an exclusive point of view, but a point of view that opens up the widest horizons.
  View quote | Baudelaire, Charles quotes

It is from the womb of art that criticism was born.
  View quote | Baudelaire, Charles quotes

A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy.
  View quote | Baudrillard, Jean quotes

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
  View quote | Beecher, Henry Ward quotes

The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.
  View quote | Benjamin, Walter quotes

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.
  View quote | Berger, John quotes

Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
  View quote | Bible quotes

The covers of this book are too far apart.
  View quote | Bierce, Ambrose quotes

A good writer is not necessarily a good book critic. No more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender.
  View quote | Bishop, Jim quotes

Satire is often the reflection of a kind of moral nausea.
  View quote | Briton, Crand quotes

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.
  View quote | Bruyere, Jean De La quotes

Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
  View quote | Burns, Robert quotes

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.
  View quote | Burroughs, William S. quotes

The rule in carving holds good as to criticism; never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.
  View quote | Buxton, Charles quotes

Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.
  View quote | Buxton, Charles quotes

A man must serve his time to every trade save censure -- critics all are ready made.
  View quote | Byron, Lord quotes

Critics are already made.
  View quote | Byron, Lord quotes

No sadder proof can be given of a person's own tiny stature, than their disbelief in great people.
  View quote | Carlyle, Thomas quotes

Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career.
  View quote | Carnegie, Dale quotes

If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
  View quote | Carnegie, Dale quotes

In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
  View quote | Carruthers, Charles Edwin quotes

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.
  View quote | Cartwright, Bill quotes

It is wrong to be harsh with the New York critics, unless one admits in the same breath that it is a condition of their existence that they should write entertainingly about something which is rarely worth writing about at all.
  View quote | Chandler, Raymond quotes

Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
  View quote | Chandler, Raymond quotes

Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.
  View quote | Chandler, Raymond quotes

Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, they damn those authors whom they never read.
  View quote | Churchill, Charles quotes

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule to never criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
  View quote | Churchill, Winston quotes

They condemn what they do not understand.
  View quote | Cicero, Marcus T. quotes

He cannot be strict in judging, who does not wish others to be strict judges of himself.
  View quote | Cicero, Marcus T. quotes

Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
  View quote | Cioran, E. M. quotes

Unlike other people, our reviewers are powerful because they believe in nothing.
  View quote | Clurman, Harold quotes

What the public criticizes in you, cultivate. It is you.
  View quote | Cocteau, Jean quotes

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.
  View quote | Coen, Ethan quotes

Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.
  View quote | Coleridge, Samuel Taylor quotes

The biggest critics of my books are people who never read them.
  View quote | Collins, Jackie quotes

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.
  View quote | Congreve, William quotes

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.
  View quote | Connolly, Cyril quotes

Criticism, that fine flower of personal expression in the garden of letters.
  View quote | Conrad, Joseph quotes

I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.
  View quote | Coolidge, Calvin quotes

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do.
  View quote | Costello, Elvis quotes

Hardly a book of human worth, be it heaven's own secret, is honestly placed before the reader; it is either shunned, given a Periclean funeral oration in a hundred and fifty words, or interred in the potter's field of the newspapers back pages.
  View quote | Dahlberg, Edward quotes

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.
  View quote | Dahlberg, Edward quotes

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.
  View quote | Dahlberg, Edward quotes

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.
  View quote | DiCaprio, Leonardo quotes

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
  View quote | Disraeli, Benjamin quotes

Critics are those who have failed in literature and art.
  View quote | Disraeli, Benjamin quotes

Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain ideas that every man is bound to be a critic for life.
  View quote | Dyke, Henry Van quotes

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.
  View quote | Edwards, Tryon quotes

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.
  View quote | Eliot, T. S. quotes

Blame is safer than praise.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.
  View quote | Epictetus quotes

Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men's judgments of one another.
  View quote | Erasmus, Desiderius quotes

The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews.
  View quote | Faulkner, William quotes

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.
  View quote | Fielding, Henry quotes

Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you're two steps ahead!
  View quote | Flagg, Fannie quotes

Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.
  View quote | Fox, Dr. Emmit quotes

The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
  View quote | France, Anatole quotes

If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
  View quote | Franklin, Benjamin quotes

There are two modes of criticism. One which crushes to earth without mercy all the humble buds of Phantasy, all the plants that, though green and fruitful, are also a prey to insects or have suffered by drought. It weeds well the garden, and cannot believe the weed in its native soil may be a pretty, graceful plant. There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.
  View quote | Fuller, Margaret quotes

Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions.
  View quote | Fuller, Margaret quotes

The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.
  View quote | Gibbon, Edward quotes

The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.
  View quote | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von quotes

Strike the dog dead, it's but a critic!
  View quote | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von quotes

Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better.
  View quote | Goldsmith, Oliver quotes

The whole effort of a sincere man is to erect his personal impressions into laws.
  View quote | Gourmont, Remy De quotes

It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.
  View quote | Griswold, Alfred Whitney quotes

Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard.
  View quote | Hammarskjold, Dag quotes

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
  View quote | Hampton, Christopher quotes

Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers which are always repulsed by the anvil.
  View quote | Helvetius, Claude A. quotes

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.
  View quote | Hemingway, Ernest quotes

All the critics who could not make their reputations by discovering you are hoping to make them by predicting hopefully your approaching impotence, failure and general drying up of natural juices. Not a one will wish you luck or hope that you will keep on writing unless you have political affiliations in which case these will rally around and speak of you and Homer, Balzac, Zola and Link Steffens.
  View quote | Hemingway, Ernest quotes

If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge
  View quote | Hill, Napoleon quotes

A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution.
  View quote | Hoffman, Dustin quotes

Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
  View quote | Holmes, Oliver Wendell quotes

You're never s good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
  View quote | Holtz, Lou quotes

If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better.
  View quote | Holtz, Lou quotes

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
  View quote | Hubbard, Elbert quotes

I'd rather be hissed at for a good verse, than applauded for a bad one.
  View quote | Hugo, Victor quotes

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.
  View quote | Hutton, R. H. quotes

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.
  View quote | Hutton, R. H. quotes

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.
  View quote | Ironside, H. A. quotes

As a work of art it has the same status as a long conversation between two not very bright drunks.
  View quote | James, Clive quotes

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.
  View quote | James, Henry quotes

Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!
  View quote | James, Henry quotes

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.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

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.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

Honest criticism is hard to take, especially from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
  View quote | Jones, Franklin P. quotes

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.
  View quote | Joubert, Joseph quotes

In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising.
  View quote | Kael, Pauline quotes

Ours is an age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. The sacredness of religion, and the authority of legislation, are by many regarded as grounds for exemption from the examination by this tribunal, But, if they are exempted, and cannot lay claim to sincere respect, which reason accords only to that which has stood the test of a free and public examination.
  View quote | Kant, Immanuel quotes

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.
  View quote | Keats, John quotes

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.
  View quote | Klee, Paul quotes

Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.
  View quote | Kundera, Milan quotes

Let us consider the critic, therefore, as a discoverer of discoveries.
  View quote | Kundera, Milan quotes

The pleasure we feel in criticizing robs us from being moved by very beautiful things.
  View quote | La Bruyere, Jean De quotes

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
  View quote | Lawrence, D. H. quotes

There are two insults no human will endure. The assertion that he has no sense of humor and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.
  View quote | Lewis, Sinclair quotes

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.
  View quote | Lincoln, Abraham quotes

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.
  View quote | Lincoln, Abraham quotes

The easiest thing a human being can do is to criticize another human being.
  View quote | Little, Lynn M. quotes

Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
  View quote | Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth quotes

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.
  View quote | Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth quotes

The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.
  View quote | Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth quotes

A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.
  View quote | Lowell, James Russell quotes

A sneer is the weapon of the weak.
  View quote | Lowell, James Russell quotes

Never make the mistake of assuming the critters will beat a path to your door.
  View quote | Mascotte, John P. quotes

People who ask for your criticism want only praise.
  View quote | Maugham, W. Somerset quotes

You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you're cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism.
  View quote | Maugham, W. Somerset quotes

Critical remarks are only made by people who love you.
  View quote | Mayor, Federico quotes

Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.
  View quote | Mcclung, Nellie quotes

It is critical vision alone which can mitigate the unimpeded operation of the automatic.
  View quote | Mcluhan, Marshall quotes

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!
  View quote | Meir, Golda quotes

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.
  View quote | Melbourne, Lord quotes

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.
  View quote | Mencken, H. L. quotes

Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
  View quote | Mencken, H. L. quotes

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.
  View quote | Miller, Henry quotes

Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
  View quote | Miller, Henry quotes

A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
  View quote | Mizner, Wilson quotes

One ought to examine himself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.
  View quote | Moliere quotes

Since we cannot attain unto it, let us revenge ourselves with railing against it.
  View quote | Montaigne, Michel Eyquem De quotes

We are suffering from too much sarcasm.
  View quote | Moore, Marianne quotes

A bad review is even less important than whether it is raining in Patagonia.
  View quote | Murdoch, Iris quotes

We protest against unjust criticism but we accept unarmed applause.
  View quote | Narosky, Jose quotes

When the critics come around it's always too late.
  View quote | Nolan, Sir Sidney quotes

All the world's a stage, and all the clergymen critics.
  View quote | Nunn, Gregory quotes

No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.
  View quote | Olivier, Sir Lawrence quotes

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.
  View quote | Orwell, George quotes

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.
  View quote | Paglia, Camille quotes

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
  View quote | Parker, Dorothy quotes

Social criticism begins with grammar and the re-establishing of meanings.
  View quote | Paz, Octavio quotes

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.
  View quote | Picasso, Pablo quotes

In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.
  View quote | Poe, Edgar Allan quotes

A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
  View quote | Pollock, Channing quotes

Each generation produces its squad of moderns with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.
  View quote | Pollock, Channing quotes

Did some more sober critics come abroad? If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
  View quote | Pope, Alexander quotes

They will say you are on the wrong road, if it is your own.
  View quote | Porchia, Antonio quotes

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.
  View quote | Pound, Ezra quotes

Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
  View quote | Proverb, American Indian quotes

Those who have free seats at a play hiss first.
  View quote | Proverb, Chinese quotes

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
  View quote | Proverb, Chinese quotes

Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.
  View quote | Proverb, German quotes

The television critic, whatever his pretensions, does not labor in the same vineyard as those he criticizes; his grapes are all sour.
  View quote | Raphael, Frederic quotes

Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.
  View quote | Rayburn, Sam quotes

Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway.
  View quote | Roosevelt, Eleanor quotes

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.
  View quote | Rosenberg, Harold quotes

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]
  View quote | Rossellini, Isabella quotes

Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
  View quote | Rostand, Jean quotes

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.
  View quote | Rowland, Helen quotes

A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach.
  View quote | Schlegel, Friedrich quotes

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.
  View quote | Schwab, Charles M. quotes

As much as we thirst for approval we dread condemnation.
  View quote | Selye, Hans quotes

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.
  View quote | Shee, Sir Martin Archer quotes

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.
  View quote | Shelley, Percy Bysshe quotes

A man generally has the good or ill qualities he attributes to mankind.
  View quote | Shenstone, William quotes

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!
  View quote | Sheridan, Richard Brinsley quotes

The dread of criticism is the death of genius.
  View quote | Simms, William Gilmore quotes

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.
  View quote | Simms, William Gilmore quotes

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.
  View quote | Sinha, Shall quotes

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?
  View quote | Slater, Christian quotes

I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
  View quote | Smith, Sydney quotes

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.
  View quote | Smullyan, Raymond quotes

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.
  View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes

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.
  View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes

Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.
  View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes

Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.
  View quote | Steinbeck, John quotes

Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play.
  View quote | Steinbeck, John quotes

Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world -- though the cant of hypocrites may be the worst -- the cant of criticism is the most tormenting!
  View quote | Sterne, Laurence quotes

What we ask of him is, that he should find out for us more than we can find out for ourselves. He must have the passion of a lover.
  View quote | Symons, Arthur quotes

Abuse if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself irritated, you will be thought to have deserved it.
  View quote | Tacitus, Publius Cornelius quotes

A louse in the locks of literature.
  View quote | Tennyson, Lord Alfred quotes

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.
  View quote | Tennyson, Lord Alfred quotes

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.
  View quote | Thoreau, Henry David quotes

All my life people have said that I wasn't going to make it.
  View quote | Turner, Ted quotes

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
  View quote | Twain, Mark quotes

A critic is a man who knows the way, but can't drive the car.
  View quote | Tynan, Kenneth quotes

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.
  View quote | Tynan, Kenneth quotes

Those who can -- do. Those who can't -- criticize.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

He who throws dirt always loses ground.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

There is one way to handle the ignorant and malicious critic. Ignore him.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Having a sharp tongue will cut your throat
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

It is strange that we do not temper our resentment of criticism with a thought for our many faults which have escaped us.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

It is usually best to be generous with praise, but cautious with criticism.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

The best criticism doesn't trap an employee or child in a dead end. It gives them an escape route.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

All of us could take a lesson from the weather, it pays no attention to criticism.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

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.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Brilliant people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.
  View quote | Unknown, Source quotes

Writing criticism is to writing fiction and poetry as hugging the shore is to sailing in the open sea.
  View quote | Updike, John quotes

It is healthier, in any case, to write for the adults one's children will become than for the children one's mature critics often are.
  View quote | Walker, Alice quotes

A film is just like a muffin. You make it. You put it on the table. One person might say, Oh, I don't like it. One might say it's the best muffin ever made. One might say it's an awful muffin. It's hard for me to say. It's for me to make the muffin.
  View quote | Washington, Denzel quotes

Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
  View quote | West, Rebecca quotes

After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.
  View quote | Wharton, Edith quotes

You should not say it is not good. You should say you do not like it; and then, you know, you're perfectly safe.
  View quote | Whistler, James Mcneill quotes

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.
  View quote | Wilde, Oscar quotes

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.
  View quote | Wilde, Oscar quotes

Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
  View quote | Wilde, Oscar quotes

On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
  View quote | Wilde, Oscar quotes

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.
  View quote | Wilde, Oscar quotes

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.
  View quote | Wilder, Thornton quotes

A friend is a lot of things, but a critic isn't.
  View quote | Williams, Bern quotes

It is just as hard to do your duty when men are sneering at you as when they are shouting at you.
  View quote | Wilson, Woodrow T. quotes

Remember that nobody will ever get ahead of you as long as he is kicking you in the seat of the pants.
  View quote | Winchell, Walter quotes

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.
  View quote | Wolfe, Thomas quotes

It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
  View quote | Woolf, Virginia quotes

There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
  View quote | Ziglar, Zig quotes