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Read through the most famous quotes by topic #criticism

Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.

John Kenneth Galbraith

#aspect #being #cerebral #cherished #comes

The point of literary criticism in anthropology is not to replace research, but to find out how it is that we are persuasive.

Clifford Geertz

#criticism #find #how #literary #literary criticism

I was kind of a volatile personality, very intense. Because of that, I drew some criticism and people would say things about me, and my parents had tried to defend me. I would just tell them don't worry about it. Our day will come.

Kirk Gibson

#because #come #criticism #day #defend

The formerly absolute distinction between time and eternity in Christian thought--between nunc movens with its beginning and end, and nunc stans, the perfect possession of endless life--acquired a third intermediate order based on this peculiar betwixt-and-between position of angels. But like the Principle of Complementarity, this concord-fiction soon proved that it had uses outside its immediate context, angelology. Because it served as a means of talking about certain aspects of human experience, it was humanized. It helped one to think about the sense, men sometimes have of participating in some order of duration other than that of the nunc movens--of being able, as it were, to do all that angels can. Such are those moments which Augustine calls the moments of the soul's attentiveness; less grandly, they are moments of what psychologists call 'temporal integration.' When Augustine recited his psalm he found in it a figure for the integration of past, present, and future which defies successive time. He discovered what is now erroneously referred to as 'spatial form.' He was anticipating what we know of the relation between books and St. Thomas's third order of duration--for in the kind of time known by books a moment has endless perspectives of reality. We feel, in Thomas Mann's words, that 'in their beginning exists their middle and their end, their past invades the present, and even the most extreme attention to the present is invaded by concern for the future.' The concept of aevum provides a way of talking about this unusual variety of duration-neither temporal nor eternal, but, as Aquinas said, participating in both the temporal and the eternal. It does not abolish time or spatialize it; it co-exists with time, and is a mode in which things can be perpetual without being eternal. We've seen that the concept of aevum grew out of a need to answer certain specific Averroistic doctrines concerning origins. But it appeared quite soon that this medium inter aeternitatem et tempus had human uses. It contains beings (angels) with freedom of choice and immutable substance, in a creation which is in other respects determined. Although these beings are out of time, their acts have a before and an after. Aevum, you might say, is the time-order of novels. Characters in novels are independent of time and succession, but may and usually do seem to operate in time and succession; the aevum co-exists with temporal events at the moment of occurrence, being, it was said, like a stick in a river. Brabant believed that Bergson inherited the notion through Spinoza's duratio, and if this is so there is an historical link between the aevum and Proust; furthermore this durée réelle is, I think, the real sense of modern 'spatial form,' which is a figure for the aevum.

Frank Kermode


Tick is a humble genesis, tock a feeble apocalypse; and tick-tock is in any case not much of a plot. We need much larger ones and much more complicated ones if we persist in finding 'what will suffice.' And what happens if the organization is much more complex than tick-tock? Suppose, for instance, that it is a thousand-page novel. Then it obviously will not lie within what is called our 'temporal horizon'; to maintain the experience of organization we shall need many more fictional devices. And although they will essentially be of the same kind as calling the second of those two related sounds tock, they will obviously be more resourceful and elaborate. They have to defeat the tendency of the interval between tick and tock to empty itself; to maintain within that interval following tick a lively expectation of tock, and a sense that however remote tock may be, all that happens happens as if tock were certainly following. All such plotting presupposes and requires that an end will bestow upon the whole duration and meaning. To put it another way, the interval must be purged of simple chronicity, of the emptiness of tock-tick., humanly uninteresting successiveness. It is required to be a significant season, kairos poised between beginning and end. It has to be, on a scale much greater than that which concerns the psychologists, an instance of what they call 'temporal integration'--our way of bundling together perception of the present, memory of the past, and expectation of the future, in a common organization. Within this organization that which was conceived of as simply successive becomes charged with past and future: what was chronos becomes kairos. This is the time of the novelist, a transformation of mere successiveness which has been likened, by writers as different as Forster and Musil, to the experience of love, the erotic consciousness which makes divinely satisfactory sense out of the commonplace person.

Frank Kermode


At some very low level, we all share certain fictions about time, and they testify to the continuity of what is called human nature, however conscious some, as against others, may become of the fictive quality of these fictions. It seems to follow that we shall learn more concerning the sense-making paradigms, relative to time, from experimental psychologists than from scientists or philosophers, and more from St. Augustine than from Kant or Einstein because St. Augustine studies time as the soul's necessary self-extension before and after the critical moment upon which he reflects. We shall learn more from Piaget, from studies of such disorders as déjà vu, eidetic imagery, the Korsakoff syndrome, than from the learned investigators of time's arrow, or, on the other hand, from the mythic archetypes. Let us take a very simple example, the ticking of a clock. We ask what it says: and we agree that it says tick-tock. By this fiction we humanize it, make it talk our language. Of course, it is we who provide the fictional difference between the two sounds; tick is our word for a physical beginning, tock our word for an end. We say they differ. What enables them to be different is a special kind of middle. We can perceive a duration only when it is organized. It can be shown by experiment that subjects who listen to rhythmic structures such as tick-tock, repeated identically, 'can reproduce the intervals within the structure accurately, but they cannot grasp spontaneously the interval between the rhythmic groups,' that is, between tock and tick, even when this remains constant. The first interval is organized and limited, the second not. According to Paul Fraisse the tock-tick gap is analogous to the role of the 'ground' in spatial perception; each is characterized by a lack of form, against which the illusory organizations of shape and rhythm are perceived in the spatial or temporal object. The fact that we call the second of the two related sounds tock is evidence that we use fictions to enable the end to confer organization and form on the temporal structure. The interval between the two sounds, between tick and tock is now charged with significant duration. The clock's tick-tock I take to be a model of what we call a plot, an organization that humanizes time by giving it form; and the interval between tock and tick represents purely successive, disorganized time of the sort that we need to humanize. Later I shall be asking whether, when tick-tock seems altogether too easily fictional, we do not produce plots containing a good deal of tock-tick; such a plot is that of Ulysses.

Frank Kermode


Henry Fielding, a highly successful satiric dramatist until the introduction of censorship in 1737, began his novel-writing career with Shamela, a pastiche of Pamela, which humorously attacked the hypocritical morality which that novel displayed. Joseph Andrews (1742) was also intended as a kind of parody of Richardson; but Fielding found that his novels were taking on a moral life of their own, and he developed his own highly personal narrative style - humorous and ironic, with an omniscient narrative presence controlling the lives and destinies of his characters. Fielding focuses more on male characters and manners than Richardson. In doing so, he creates a new kind of hero in his novels. Joseph Andrews is chaste, while Tom Jones in Tom Jones (1749) is quite the opposite. Tom is the model of the young foundling enjoying his freedom (to travel, to have relationships with women, to enjoy sensual experience) until his true origins are discovered. When he matures, he assumes his social responsibilities and marries the woman he has 'always' loved, who has, of course, like a mediaeval crusader's beloved, been waiting faithfully for him. Both of these heroes are types, representatives of their sex. There is a picaresque journey from innocence to experience, from freedom to responsibility. It is a rewriting of male roles to suit the society of the time. The hero no longer makes a crusade to the Holy Land, but the crusade is a personal one, with chivalry learned on the way, and adventure replacing self-sacrifice and battle.

Ronald Carter


Novels begin and end with, consist of, and indeed in one sense are nothing but voices. So reading is learning to listen sensitively, and to tune in accurately, to varying frequencies and a developing programme. From the opening words a narrative voice begins to create its own characteristic personality and sensibility, whether it belongs to an 'author' or a 'character'. At the same time a reader is being created, persuaded to become the particular kind of reader the book requires. A relationship develops, which becomes the essential basis of the experience. In the modulation of the fictive voice, finally, through the creation of 'author' and 'reader* and their relationship, there is a definition of the nature and status of the experience, which will always imply a particular idea of ordering the world. So much is perhaps familiar enough, and a useful rhetoric of Voice' has developed. Yet I notice in my students and myself, when its vocabulary is in play, a tendency to become rather too abstract or technical, and above all too spatial and static. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves what it can be like to listen to close friends, talking animatedly and seriously in everyday experience, in order to make sure that a vocabulary which often points only to broad strategies does not tempt us to underplay the extraordinary resourcefulness, variety and fluctuation of the novelist's voice.

Ian Gregor


I'm easy to work with, not a pushover, but I respond to criticism and find it inspiring.

Ben Elton

#easy #find #i #inspiring #respond

I have been both praised and criticized. The criticism stung, but the praise sometimes bothered me even more. To have received such praise and honors has always been puzzling to me.

Billy Joel

#been #both #bothered #criticism #criticized

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