Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.
What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?
Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
First, I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.
Because women live creatively, they rarely experience the need to depict or write about that which to them is a primary experience and which men know only at a second remove. Women create naturally, men create artificially.
Thoughts give birth to a creative force that is neither elemental nor sidereal. Thoughts create a new heaven, a new firmament, a new source of energy, from which new arts flow. When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven, as it were and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him. For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth.
Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.
It is folly for an eminent person to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected by it. All the illustrious persons of antiquity, and indeed of every age, have passed through this fiery persecution. There is no defense against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.
A good writer is not necessarily a good book critic. No more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender.
If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the insidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood.
It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.
Ours is an age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. The sacredness of religion, and the authority of legislation, are by many regarded as grounds for exemption from the examination by this tribunal, But, if they are exempted, and cannot lay claim to sincere respect, which reason accords only to that which has stood the test of a free and public examination.
Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather that its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as a bad heart of Procrustes turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.
We are suffering from too much sarcasm.
Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss.
In my wide association in life, meeting with many and great men in various parts of the world, I have yet to find the man, however great or exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than he would ever do under a spirit of criticism.
Neither praise nor blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to proscribe, and honestly to award - these are the true aims and duties of criticism.
Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain ideas that every man is bound to be a critic for life.
There is one way to handle the ignorant and malicious critic. Ignore him.