Critics Quotes

Most popular critics quotes

Critics often make us out to be so bad we are compelled to wonder why they select such rotten subjects.
The long but tiny film...
Hair like black ice cream.
One of us is obviously mistaken.
I love every bone in their heads.
They never raised a statue to a critic.
I like criticism, but it must be my way.
The protein of our cultural imagination.
Critics are like pigs at the pastry cart.
Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.
Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
One survives all wounds except those of critics.
— African proverb

African proverbs proverbs

Critics are like brushers of noblemen's clothes.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.


A critic is a lug-worm in the liver of literature.
Pop art is the inedible raised to the unspeakable.
The critic roams through culture, looking for prey.
Everybody has two businesses: his own and the movies.
This film needs a certain something. Possibly burial.
Writing about art is like dancing about architecture.
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.
A critic is a man who knows the way, but can't drive the car.
I never read a book before reviewing it. It prejudices a man so.
If you can't stand the heat, you'd better get out of the kitchen.


Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead.
— Chinese proverb

Chinese proverbs friendship proverbs

I am perfectly happy to believe that nobody likes us but the public.

audiences success

How many of them handled the brush before being reduced to the broom?
I pride myself on the fact that my work has no socially redeeming value.


I saw this show under adverse circumstances-my seat was facing the stage.
A critic is a bundle of biases held loosely together by a sense of taste.
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.


Critical lice are like bodily lice, which desert corpses to seek the living.
You know who the critics are?  The men who have failed in literature and art.
You explain how it went, and as far as you can figure out how it got that way.
Since we have to speak well of the dead, let's knock them while they're alive.
Pay no attention to what a critic says. No statue was ever put up for a critic.


The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul among masterpieces.
A man must serve his time to every trade. Save censure — critics are ready-made.
A man must serve his time to every trade
Save censure—critics all are ready made.
Three men riding on a bicycle which has only one wheel, I guess that's surrealism.
The Stones that Critics hurl with Harsh Intent
A Man may use to build His Monument.


For critics, as they are birds of prey, have ever a natural inclination to carrion.
To many people, dramatic criticism must seem like an attempt to tattoo soap bubbles.
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've got a pretty neck.
A drama critic is a person who surprises the playwright by informing him what he meant.
And, of course, with the birth of the artist came the inevitable afterbirth—the critic.
Hollywood grew to be the most flourishing factory of popular mythology since the Greeks.


It seems not to have been written. It is the quintessence of life. It is the basic truth.
Listening to critics is like letting Muhammad Ali decide which astronaut goes to the moon.
The good critic is he who relates the adventures of his soul in the midst of masterpieces.
There is a certain justice in criticism. The critic is like a midwife - a tyrannical midwife.
If my fanny squirms, it's bad. If my fanny doesn't squirm, it's good. It's as simple as that.
American critics are like American universities. They both have dull and half-dead faculties.
Miss Stapleton played the part as though she had not yet signed the contract with the producer.
A painting is like a man. If you can live without it, then there isn't much point in having it.
Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.
Go to the Martin Beck Theatre and watch Katherine Hepburn run the gamut of emotions from A to B.
A critic is a man created to praise greater men than himself, but he is never able to find them.
A good critic is the sorcerer who makes some hidden spring gush forth unexpectedly under our feet.
Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.
Impersonal criticism is like an impersonal fist fight or an impersonal marriage, and as successful.
Don't be dismayed by the opinions of editors, or critics. They are only the traffic cops of the arts.


Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger.


Nature fits all her children with something to do,
He who would write and can't write can surely review.


Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post how it feels about dogs.
Think not those faithful who praise all your words and actions, but those who kindly reprove your faults.
Nature fits all her children with something to do; he who would write and can't write, can surely review.
A good writer is not per se a good book critic. No more than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender.
A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded.
A good writer is not, per se, a good book critic. No more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender.
A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.
Hollywood was born schizophrenic. For 75 years it has been both a town and a state of mind, an industry and an art form.


I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre—as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to the cotton field.
A man is a critic when he cannot be an artist, in the same way that a man becomes an informer when he cannot be a soldier.
Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
Some critics are emotionally desiccated, personally about as attractive as a year-old peach in a single girl's refrigerator.
Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left.
Insects sting, not in malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics: they desire our blood, not our pain.
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
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.
Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
All through the five acts . . . he played the King as though under momentary apprehension that someone else was about to play the Ace.
The day when I shall begin to worry is when the critics declare: 'This is Noël Coward's greatest play.' But I know they bloody well won't.
I maintain that two and two would continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five.
Critics...are of two sorts: those who merely relieve themselves against the flower of beauty, and those, less continent, who afterwards scratch it up.
It is quite cruel that a poet cannot wander through his regions of enchantment without having a critic forever, like the old Man of the Sea, upon his back.
What a blessed thing it is, that Nature, when she invented, manufactured, and patented her authors, contrived to make critics out of the chips that were left!
As for Mrs. May, I must have named her that because I knew some English teacher would write and ask me why. I think you folks sometimes strain the soup too thin.
To be a critic, you have to have maybe three percent education, five percent intelligence, two percent style, and ninety percent gall and egomania in equal parts.
A writer must make up his mind to the possible rough treatment of the critics, who swarm like bacteria whenever there is any literary material on which they can feed.
The important thing is that you make sure that neither the favorable nor the unfavorable critics move into your head and take part in the composition of your next work.
Critics are like eunuchs in a harem. They're there every night, they see it done every night, they see how it should be done every night, but they can't do it themselves.
You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.
Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, biographers...if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn to critics.


It was one of history's great love stories, the mutually profitable romance which Hollywood and bohunk America conducted almost in the dark, a tapping of fervent messages through the wall of the San Gabriel Range.
I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or banana split.


Critics are like horse-flies which hinder the horses in their plowing of the soil.  The horse works, all its muscles drawn tight like the strings on a double-bass, and a fly settles on his flanks and tickles and buzzes.
What makes people the world over stand in line for Van Gogh is not that they will see beautiful pictures [but] that in an indefinable way they will come away feeling better human beings. And that is exactly what Van Gogh hoped for.
Book reviewing in America is a hybrid occupation.  Part trade and part profession, part art and part craft, part literature and part journalism, it lies somewhere between the outskirts of the work and the fringes of the world of letters.


Drill into your head that no matter what you say, no matter what you do, no matter what you write, they will complain. They will complain even more if they see you trying to accommodate them. So work on directing what they complain about.
During the years when the barely educated immigrants were being replaced by barely educated native sons, Hollywood . . . proved a more reliable, cost-effective means of securing world domination than any nuclear arsenal or diplomatic démarche.
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.

A poet should be of the
old-fashioned meaningless brand:
obscure, esoteric, symbolic, --
the critics demand it;
so if there's a poem of mine
that you do understand
I'll gladly explain what it means
till you don't understand it.

funny writing

Every good reviewer has a subject.  He specializes in that subject on which he has not been able to write a book, and his aim is to see that no one else does.  He stands behind the ticket-queue of fame, banging his rivals on the head as they bend low before the guichet.


Through the magic of motion pictures... Through the magic of motion pictures, someone who's never left Peoria knows the softness of a Paris spring, the color of a Nile sunset, the sorts of vegetation one will find along the upper Amazon and that Big Ben has not yet gone digital.
Some critics are like chimney-sweepers; they put out the fire below, or frighten the swallows from their nests above; they scrape a long time in the chimney, cover themselves with soot, and bring nothing away but a bag of cinders, and then sing from the top of the house as if they had built it.