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Critics and Criticism Quotes and Quotations


A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
Book reviewers are little old ladies of both sexes.
Constant, indiscriminate approval devalues because it is so predictable.
Critics are biased, and so are readers. (Indeed, a critic is a bundle of biases held loosely together by a sense of taste.) But intelligent readers soon discover how to allow for the windage of their own and a critic's prejudices.
Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.
Henry James chews more than he bites off.
I don't want to see the uncut version of anything.
It is easy - terribly easy - to shake a man's faith in himself. To take advantage of that, to break a man's spirit is devil's work.
The critic is an overgoer with pen-envy.
Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.
Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience - 4000 critics.
He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
More and more people think of the critic as an indispensable middle man between writer and reader, and would no more read a book alone, if they could help it, than have a baby alone.
It is not expected of critics that they should help us to make sense of our lives; they are bound only to attempt the lesser feat of making sense of the ways we try to make sense of our lives.
Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.
His words leap across rivers and mountains, but his thoughts are still only six inches long.
When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
The factor in human life provocative of a noble discontent is the gradual emergence of a sense of criticism, founded upon appreciation of beauty, and of intellectual distinction, and of duty.
To many people dramatic criticism must seem like an attempt to tattoo soap bubbles.
The test of a good critic is whether he knows when and how to believe on insufficient evidence.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee; rebuke a wise man and he will love thee.
In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
If you are willing to take the punishment, you're halfway through the battle. That the issues may be trivial, the battle ugly, is another point.
A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
Vilify! Vilify! Some of it will always stick.
Always bring money along with your complaints.
Nature fits all her children with something to do He who would write and can't write, can surely review.
Nature, when she invented, manufactured and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Any fool can criticize, and many of them do.
Critics are like eunuchs in a harem: they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.
I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.
The good critic is he who narrates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
Of all the cants which are canted in this canting world, tho' the cant of hypocrites may be the worst, the cant of criticism is the most tormenting.
The critic is the duenna in the passionate affair between playwrights, actors and audiences - a figure dreaded, and occasionally comic, but never welcome, never loved.
A critic at best is a waiter at the great table of literature.


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Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
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