Friday, 3 February 2012


If you read my guest blog on Negative Reviews over at We Fancy Books, you might remember that I started with a rather bitter quote from Christopher Hampton.

I admit to a weakness for quotes - distilled shots of cleverness and wisdom, like miniatures of flavoured vodka. Today, I thought I'd share some other quotes I've found about critics - literary and otherwise. Enjoy!

"A good review from the critics is just another stay of execution."
Dustin Hoffman (1937-)

"If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much."
Donald H. Rumsfeld (1932 - )

"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)

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."
Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962)

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

"Pay no attention to what the critics say... Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic!"
Jean Sibelius (1865 - 1957)

"Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

"Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've got a pretty neck."
Eli Wallach (1915-)

"I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic.""
Richard Pryor (1940 - 2005)

"People ask for criticism, but they only want praise."
W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)

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

"Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them."
Samuel Goldwyn (1879 - 1974)


Jeremy Edwards said...

I love the Wharton one, and I don't recall seeing it before—cool!

Of course, I'm always glad to see a Goldwynism.

Jo said...

I like the Franklin P Jones one :)

Janine Ashbless said...

Is it bad to admit to liking the Rumsfeld one? *looks shiftily over her shoulder*

Jeremy Edwards said...

Well, since in my experience a huge percentage of the quotations that circulate under this or that famous person's name are untraceable to that person, or even definitely known by quotations scholars to be attributable to someone else instead... it's quite likely it's not really Rumsfeld's quote (depending where it came from). If that makes you feel any better.

Janine Ashbless said...

Thank you Jeremy!
Of course, I like all the quotes I put up here. That's why I posted them :-)