Pearls from artists* # 281
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Interviewer: Do you think criticism helps any?
Capote: Before publication, and if provided by persons whose judgment you trust, yes, of course criticism helps. But after something is published, all I want to hear is praise. Anything less is a bore, and I’ll give you fifty dollars if you produced a writer who can honestly say he was ever helped by the prissy carpings and condescensions of reviewers. I don’t mean to say that none of the professional critics are worth paying attention to – but few of the good ones review on a regular basis. Most of all, I believe in hardening yourself against opinion. I’ve had, and continue to receive, my full share of abuse, some of it extremely personal, but it doesn’t faze me any more. I can read the most outrageous libel about myself and never skip a pulsebeat. And in this connection there is one piece of advice I strongly urge: never demean yourself by talking back to a critic, never. Write those letters to the editor in your head, but don’t put them on paper.
Truman Capote in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews First Series, edited, and with an introduction by Malcolm Crowley
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Posted on January 3, 2018, in An Artist's Life, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Quotes and tagged "Poker Face", "Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews First Series", criticism, critics, hardening, judgment, letters to the editor, libel, Malcolm Crowley, opinion, praise, reviewers, soft pastel on sandpaper, Truman Capote, writer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.