Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thoughts on criticism from Past The Popcorn

A man cannot be wise enough to be a great artist without being wise enough to wish to be a philosopher. A man cannot have the energy to produce good art without having the energy to wish to pass beyond it. A small artist is content with art; a great artist is content with nothing except everything. So we find that when real forces, good or bad, like Kipling and [Shaw], enter our arena, they bring with them not only startling and arresting art, but very startling and arresting dogmas. And they care even more, and desire us to care even more, about their startling and arresting dogmas than about their startling and arresting art. —G. K. Chesterton

It is dangerous for an individual to assume that any attempted work of art actually is what it appears to himself. I have known a child to assume that his grandfather, kneeling for prayers, was a horse to be mounted and ridden. —Booth Tarkington

People ask me all the time, “What does that song mean?” Well, if I could say it in other words than are in the song, I would have written another song, wouldn’t I? —Elvis Costello

The best audience is one that will be fair enough to suspend judgment until it has first found out what [the artist] is trying to do; then is competent enough to discover how well he does it; and finally is so all-wise as to know whether or not it’s worth doing. —Booth Tarkington

The aim of the critic, as Chesterton once remarked, is to show what the artist did, whether the artist meant to do it or not. —Robert J. Reilly

Egoistic instinct is subtle and glamorous. It can even mistake itself for authoritative judgment upon works of art; but if we avoid being carried away by its eloquence we needn’t share in its error. That is, by making ourselves a little hard-headed we can escape the confusion of mind that damns an ostrich for not being a giraffe. —Booth Tarkington

I have investigated the dust-heaps of humanity, and found a treasure in all of them. I have found that humanity is not incidentally engaged, but eternally and systematically engaged, in throwing gold into the gutter and diamonds into the sea. —G. K. Chesterton

These quotes are shamelessly lifted from the Past The Popcorn film review website