Michael Dirda Quotes

Most popular Michael Dirda Quotes

One of the ancient goals of criticism was called the correction of taste.


The world is a library of strange and wonderful books, and sometimes we just need to go prowling through the stacks.

books libraries the world

In a good autobiography the chaos of life's experience (truth) must be given some kind of order or pattern (design).


Throughout history the exemplary teacher has never been just an instructor in a subject; he is nearly always its living advertisement.


Most serious novels are machines for producing anxiety.  Pick up a classic or a current best seller, and you'll find people in trouble.


Certainly if there is any worldly talent worth cultivating, it's a sense of humor.  To possess a cheerful outlook may be the greatest gift of the gods, the distant second best being a taste for irony.

sense of humor

Critics and reviewers can be loosely divided into two camps: Those who never let you forget that they are judge, jury, and if need be, executioner; and those who humble themselves before a poem or novel, waiting for it to reveal its secrets to them.