Flaskaland
Friday, December 20, 2002
 

"It's not the critic who counts. It's not the man who points out where the grown man stumbles, or how the doer of deeds could have done them better; the credit belongs to the man who actually is in the arena, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement, but who, if he fails, fails, while doing so greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

--Theodore Roosevelt

"While these words are, in a way, very much true, they could also easily be misinterpreted in a way that would re-inforce long standing prejudices against critics. It is very much unlikely that ol’ Roosevelt was talking about art criticism when he said (wrote?) this, but nevertheless he seems to express many people’s feelings on the subject of critics -- that they are essentially cowards.

"And this is where so many people (including many critics!) err so tragically! For it is not, never has been and never will be, the job of a critic to merely point out what the faults of a record (or book, or movie -- however, in this article I’ll continue talking about music, since that is what I know best) are and whetever it’s good or bad. In fact, “judging” a record is an exercise in pointlessness, as quality is a very subjective thing....in the end, everyone has to decide for themselves whetever they like a record or not."

Read about what another part of a critic's job is in The Art Of Criticism
 




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