Quotes Tagged "criticism"
Ivanov had been a party member since 1902. Back then he had tried to write stories in the manner of Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, or rather he had tried to plagiarize them without much success, which led him, after long reflection (a whole summer night), to the astute decision that he should write in the manner of Odoevsky and Lazhechnikov. Fifty percent Odoevsky and fifty percent Lazhecknikov. This went over well, in part because readers, their memories mostly faulty, had forgotten poor Odoevsky (1803-1869) and poor Lazhechnikov (1792-1869), who died the same year, and in part because literary criticism, as keen as ever, neither extrapolated nor made the connection nor noticed a thing.
Yes, I hate orthodox criticism. I don't mean great criticism, like that of Matthew Arnold and others, but the usual small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and weazening all vision and bravery. ...I hate it because of all the potentially shining, gentle, gifted people of all ages, that it snuffs out every year. It is a murderer of talent. And because the most modest and sensitive people are the most talented, having the most imagination and sympathy, these are the very first ones to get killed off. It is the brutal egotists that survive.
If Makar Denisych was just a clerk or a junior manager, then no one would have dared talk to him in such a condescending, casual tone, but he is a 'writer', and a talentless mediocrity! People like Mr Bubentsov do not understand anything about art and are not very interested in it, but whenever they happen to come across talentless mediocrities they are pitiless and implacable, They are ready to forgive anyone, but not Makar, that eccentric loser with manuscripts lying in his trunk. The gardener damaged the old rubber plant, and ruined lots of expensive plants, and the general does nothing and goes on spending money like water; Mr Bubentsov only got down to work once a month when he was a magistrate, then stammered, muddled up the laws, and spoke a lot of rubbish, but all this is forgiven and not noticed; but there is no way that anyone can pass by the talentless Makar, who writes passable poetry and stories, without saying something offensive. No one cares that the general's sister-in-law slaps the maids' cheeks, and swears like a trooper when she is playing cards, that the priest's wife never pays up when she loses, and the landowner Flyugin stole a a dog from the landower Sivobrazov, but the fact that Our Province returned a bad story to Makar recently is know to the whole district and has provoked mockery, long conversations and indignation, while Makar Denisych is already being referred to as old Makarka. If someone does not write the way required, they never try to explain what is wrong, but just say: 'That bastard has gone and written another load of rubbish!