Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’ – which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.
Toward his critics, the artist harbors a defensive ace: knowledge that the future will erase the present.
Most Americans aren’t the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right.
In the early nineteenth century, with Enlightenment optimism soured by years of war and revolution, critics were skeptical of America’s naive faith that it had reinvented politics.
The censors have always had a field day with James Joyce, specifically with ‘Ulysses,’ but also with his other writings. The conventional wisdom is that this is because of sexually explicit passages (and there certainly are those). I have always thought that what the critics hated and feared about Joyce is his cry for human freedom.
For some reason most critics have a hard time fixing their minds directly under their noses, and before they see the object that is there they use a telescope upon the horizon to see where it came from.
Critics are sentinels in the grand army of letters, stationed at the corners of newspapers and reviews, to challenge every new author.
Critics! Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame.
When ‘Carmen’ premiered in 1875, it was panned by the critics. It survived 45 performances. It was called a musical and moral outrage. After Bizet died, at age 37, ‘Carmen’ became wildly popular. If you believe in your creation, and the rest of the world is laughing or yelling ‘Boo,’ don’t give up.
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.