Criticism, Lampposts and Dogs

“Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.” (John Osborne, British Playwright)

We saw this quote recently and it made us wonder; how do others handle the flood of comments and critiques that our social-networked world now makes possible? So we went hunting for answers. Turns out everyone from the Ancient Greeks to Shania Twain has an opinion about criticism:

1. Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship. ~ Zeuxis (400 BC), from Pliny the Elder, Natural History

2. Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing ~ Aristotle (384BC -322BC)

3. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

4. Court not the critic’s smile nor dread his frown ~ Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

5. It is easier to be critical than correct. ~ Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

6. After all, one knows one’s weak points so well, that it’s rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others. ~ Edith Wharton (1862 -1937)

7. Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic. Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

8. People ask for criticism, but they only want praise. ~ W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965)

9. Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. ~ Frank Howard Clark (1888-1962)

10. We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public. ~ Walt Disney (1901-1966)

11. Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger. ~ Franklin P. Jones (1908-1980)

12. Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae. ~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007)

13. If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success. ~ Malcolm X (1925-1965)

14. Don’t criticize what you can’t understand. ~ Bob Dylan (1941-)

15. I find that the very things that I get criticized for, which is usually being different and just doing my own thing and just being original, is the very thing that’s making me successful. ~ Shania Twain (1965-)

About jmdattilo

J.M. Dattilo is our pen name. We are the authors of the Time's Edge sci-fi/fantasy series.

Posted on July 2, 2011, in Authors, Humor, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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