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All of us could take a lesson from the weather, it pays no attention to criticism.

Unknown Source

Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.

Jean Rostand (1894-1977) French biologist and philosopher.

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.

Helen Rowland (1875-1950) American journalist and humorist.

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.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet.

Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.


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.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

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.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American writer.

Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American writer.

Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet and dramatist.