We’re Called “Critics” For a Reason

Only saying you like things excludes you from the ranks of critics. It means you’re a glorified journalist.

Merriam Webster:

1 a : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique

b : one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances

2: one given to harsh or captious judgment

Origin of CRITIC

Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos, from kritikos able to discern or judge, from krinein
First Known Use: 1588

You Might Also Like:

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Championing Critics David Kipen has an interesting post about how critics who discover authors tend to be forgotten: We all know Alice Walker, the author of The...
  2. But Why Is It Called The Exterminating Angel? Nice essay about a great film, perhaps Bunel’s best. But can anyone tell me why the name The Exterminating Angel? The plot is easy to...
  3. Another Reason to Read Never Let Me Go Well, several, actually. Also see, my coverage. And M John Harrison’s review from earlier this year seem to be one of the better ones....
  4. A Nabokov Book Called Think, Write, Speak . . . . . . plus thousands of pages of other Nabokov projects you’ve never heard of. We’ve got the goods at The Constant Conversation....
  5. Dream of Reason by Rosa Chacel I just received this thrill-inducing book from the University of Nebraska Press: Dream of Reason by Rosa Chacel, publishing in October. What's gotten my attention?...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

8 Comments

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Agreed, but dude, you’re stomping this point a lot.

@vfrancone Beacuse it’s necessary. Most of the published criticism are fluff pieces.

I think what’s missing from this debate is the observation that reducing it all to a choice between tough criticism and fluffy puff pieces creates an artificial duality. There are pieces of tough criticism that are incredibly shallow and stupid (as stupid as mindless praise), and there are pieces of criticism that gloriously celebrate the work that they explore. Criticism is neither good nor bad as a function of whether it damns or lauds — it is good or bad as a function of whether it aspires to say the essential in a beautiful way, regardless of what judgement it levels.

    Exactly. The tone here is the tone of any half-intelligent political debate. Ideologies and binaries as opposed to dialogues towards goals.

    Good criticism is criticism that tells you something core about what a work is doing, and how. Both a negative review and a positive review do that. (I think I let “review” slip in because that may be what we’re really all talking about in the first place.)

@Arturo: I realize this, but this is Scott’s umpteenth post on the subject. And again I agree with him, but after a while the discussion of what makes a critic and who deserves to be called one, lacking “dialogues toward goals” as P.T. Smith mentioned, makes those screaming “I am a critic; this person is not” sound a bit desperate, arrogant, and even callow. Worse, they begin to resemble the academics who denounce creative criticism.

There may be an influx of quasi-criticism in our 21st century, sure, but good, informed readers surely can see the difference between a critical essay and a fluff piece. They always have and they always will.

That being said, keep up the great work, Scott.

Critics, man. Critics never got nothing nice to say. You know the one thing I notice about critics, man? Is critics never ask me how my day went.

Jerks.

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2015. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.