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Literary Criticism

I demand that my books be judged with utmost severity, by knowledgeable people who know the rules of grammar and of logic, and who will seek beneath the footsteps of my commas the lice of my thought in the head of my style.

Louis Aragon (1897-1982) French poet, novelist, and essayist.

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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2007) Canadian-American economist.

You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldn't kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.

Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961) American Writer.

The great critic must be a philosopher, for from philosophy he will learn serenity, impartiality, and the transitoriness of human things.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) British novelist and playwright.

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world -- in order to set up a shadow world of ''meanings.''

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

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.

Unknown Source

Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) German philosopher.

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