The art of intelligent appreciation

“Contrary to what might be assumed, it is far easier for the critic to revile than to reveal;
to deride and dismiss than to illuminate, especially when difficult work is being considered.
In ordinary language, to be ‘critical’ means to find fault, justly or unjustly.
In fact, is there an art more exacting, more risky, more vulnerable to censure, than the art of intelligent appreciation? . . . Such criticism requires of the critic not only intelligence and taste, but a more rare talent for self-effacement.”

Advertisements

Write your heart out

“Write your heart out.
Never be ashamed of your subject, and of your passion for your subject.
Your “forbidden” passions are likely to be the fuel for your writing….
Your struggle with your buried self, or selves, yields your art; these emotions are the fuel that drives your writing and makes possible hours, days, weeks, months and years of what will appear to others, at a distance, as “work.” Without these ill-understood drives you might be a superficially happier person, and a more involved citizen of your community, but it isn’t likely that you will create anything of substance.
What advice can an older writer presume to offer to a younger? Only what he or she might wish to have been told years ago. Don’t be discouraged! Don’t cast sidelong glances, and compare yourself to others among your peers! (Writing is not a race. No one really “wins.” The satisfaction is in the effort, and rarely in the consequent rewards, if there are any.) And again, write your heart out.
Joyce Carol Oates

Fuel for your writing

“Your struggle with your buried self, or selves, yields your art; these emotions are the fuel that drives your writing and makes possible hours, days, weeks, months and years of what will appear to others at a distance, as ‘work’.  Without these ill-understood drives you might be a superficially happier person, and a more involved citizen of your community, but it isn’t likely you will create anything of substance.”
Joyce Carol Oates