Inside Critics The critical voices in our own heads are far more vicious than what we might hear from the outside. Our "inside critics" have intimate knowledge of us and can zero in on our weakest spots. You might be told by the critics that you're too fat, too old, too young, not intelligent enough, a quitter, not logical, prone to try too many things... It's all balderdash! Some elements of these may be true, and it's completely up to you how they affect you. Inside critics are really just trying to protect you. You can: Learn to dialogue with them. Give them new jobs. Turn them into allies. You can also dismantle/exterminate them.
I think as you get older, you realize there's always going to be critics. Critics are going to win every time because they can change their critique based on the stats and their own personal feelings. It's less about proving people wrong, the critics wrong, and it's more about challenging myself to keep this level up.
I'm not trying to brainwash my critics. If they're critics, they're critics, and that's their job to be critical, but I certainly enjoy the involvement I have with my fans. I enjoy the time I get to spend with them, and I don't waste time with someone stubborn who is not going to come around.
It is not my methodology to engage too much with critics for many reasons: - I honestly believe that my ego is not worthy of my having to defend it. There are far more important things in the ummah than me having to respond to critics. - By and large, criticism is a part of human life and nature and we have ourselves to accomplish more than just responding to what people say about us. - The best way to silence the speech of the critics it through the deafening noise of your own actions. - Criticising is the job that requires zero qualifications.
Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi
Well, I think critics are very useful. But I think that they, in a way, betray their position when they stop people looking for themselves. Judgment is very easy, but I think, on the whole, professional critics maybe see too much, and compare too much, and forget the joy of actually looking and contemplating for its own sake.
Of course, there are those critics - New York critics as a rule - who say, 'Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it's good but then she's a natural writer.' Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.
The evolution of social media into a robust mechanism for social transformation is already visible. Despite many adamant critics who insist that tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are little more than faddish distractions useful only to exchange trivial information, these critics are being proven wrong time and again.
There's good directors and bad directors. Some of the critics are really conscientious and really try to do what they can popularize the work or to explain the work and so on. And then there's the critics who just wants to make a reputation by attacking. Those are the ones I'm not keen on.
Many of my sharpest critics have decided to take a position of ignoring me - because they feel that by attacking me, they would draw attention to my book and give me more publicity and help me sell more books. So I think that they decided that the best thing for them to do is to say nothing. Also, I think that some of my critics simply can't refute my argument - and so it's easier for them to ignore it as well, so that they're not forced to confront the logical contradiction in their own position.
The British and American literary worlds operate in an odd kind of symbiosis: our critics think our contemporary novelists are not the stuff of greatness whereas certain contemporary Americans indubitably are. Their critics often advance the exact opposite: British fiction is cool, American naff.
To the scientists of the Renaissance, your critic was really your ally, helping you advance upon reality. Critics in science are not like drama critics, determining flops and successes. Criticism to scientists is just another means of finding out whether they're wrong, like running another experiment to see if it confirms or refutes a theory. Along with the advocacy principle of the courtroom, it is one of the best ways human beings have evolved to get closer to the truth.
From the writer's point of view, critics should be ignored, although it's hard not to do what they suggest. I think it's unfortunate to have critics for friends. Suppose you write something that stinks, what are they going to say in a review? Say it stinks? So if they're honest, they do, and if you were friends you're still friends, but the knowledge of your lousy writing and their articulate admission of it will be always something between the two of you, like the knowledge between a man and his wife of some shady adultery.
Book critics or theatre critics can be derisively negative and gain delighted praise for the trenchant with of their review. But in criticisms of religion even clarity ceases to be a virtue and sounds like aggressive hostility. A politician may attack an opponent scathingly across the floor of the House and earn plaudits for his robust pugnacity. But let a soberly reasoning critic of religion employ what would in other contexts sound merely direct or forthright, and it will be described as a 'rant'.
There are a few critics overseas, and occasionally a critic will write an astute analysis of the movie. There is value in reading critics that actually have something intelligent to say, but the journalistic community lives in a world of sound bites and literary commerce: selling newspapers, selling books, and they do that simply by trashing things. They don't criticize or analyze them. They simply trash them for the sake of a headline, or to shock people to get them to buy whatever it is they're selling.
The neo-conservative critics of leftist critics of mass culture ridicule the protest against Bach as background music in the kitchen, against Plato and Hegel, Shelley and Baudelaire, Marx and Freud in the drugstore. Instead, they insist on recognition of the fact that the classics have left the mausoleum and come to life again, that people are just so much more educated. True, but coming to life as classics, they come to life as other than themselves; they are deprived of their antagonistic force, of the estrangement which was the very dimension of their truth.
Now it turns out that a few broadsheet film critics in Britain do indeed belong to a category of people who would have resisted Hitler when he came to power. So the great shame is, clearly film critics should have been running Austria at the time, because Hitler would have represented no problem to them at all. [The Guardian's] Peter Bradshaw would have known exactly what to do, and he would not have been remotely fallible to any Nazi who threatened his life. No, he would have died in heroic acts of individual resistance. So it's a privilege to live among people who enjoy such moral certainty.
You find very few critics who approach their job with a combination of information and enthusiasm and humility that makes for a good critic. But there is nothing wrong with critics as long as people don't pay any attention to them. I mean, nobody wants to put them out of a job and a good critic is not necessarily a dead critic. It's just that people take what a critic says as a fact rather than an opinion, and you have to know whether the opinion of the critic is informed or uninformed, intelligent of stupid -- but most people don't take the trouble.
It is believed that the critics are the men who have failed in literature and art. It is so in social life, too. Without any egoistic interest nobody criticizes the government. Give the critics the money and the power, more than they have, they will automatically be changed into the defenders of government strategy. Criticism also enables them to be distinguished, to demonstrate their intellect or bravery, that is, they are more clever, they can go deeper and expose what is hidden from naked eyes, they fear nobody and nothing, they are brave heart and so on and so forth. In any case they give subliminal messages that they are different. Indeed, they only make Herculean efforts to create more and more perfect image of Ego. The simple truth is that and nothing else. Beyond egoistic interests there cannot be any criticism, even if it is masked by the nobility.
I repeat here what you will find in my first chapter, that the only thing that signifies to you in a book is what it means to you, and if your opinion is at variance with that of everyone else in the world it is of no consequence. Your opinion is valid for you. In matters of art people, especially, I think, in America, are apt to accept willingly from professors and critics a tyranny which in matters of government they would rebel against. But in these questions there is no right and wrong. The relation between the reader and his book is as free and intimate as that between the mystic and his God. Of all forms of snobbishness the literary is perhaps the most detestable, and there is no excuse for the fool who despises his fellow-man because he does not share his opinion of the value of a certain book. Pretence in literary appreciation is odious, and no one should be ashamed if a book that the best critics think highly of means nothing to him. On the other hand it is better not to speak ill of such books if you have not read them.
W. Somerset Maugham