Only posts tagged with: Criticism | Display all
May. 9, 2012, at 2:36pm
The other day a friend sent me a message asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a book she's just published. I told her I was scared I would hate it, which would put me in a dilemma. I'm a critic by nature and vocation. I can't dissemble. And I'm afraid my honest impressions would discourage her in her work.
She laughed and assured me that she finds private criticism helpful. Then she sent me the book. It came in the mail just now.
As I held it, disliking the cover art, it occurred to me: Wait a sec. "Private criticism"? Did she mean (perhaps unconsciously) to bind me not to say anything in public?
Maybe she didn't mean to do that at all, but it's a notion I come across …continue reading
Mar. 26, 2010, at 12:45am
Many and many is the time in my adult life I have tried to wave the banner for criticism—tried to rally fellow Christians to do it more, accept it more. Socrates explained why way back: The one who proves me wrong is my greatest benefactor—because nothing is worse and more damaging to the soul than to commit wrong. It follows that those who show me where I’m going wrong do me great good.
Christians—so conscious of our imperfections and enjoined to be humble—should recognize that reality all the more, shouldn’t we? Don’t we know we are blind to our own faults? Don’t we see how many good works and good institutions have gone awry because they have shut their ears to …
Dec. 3, 2009, at 10:41pm
A couple of days ago, I picked up Henri de Lubac’s Paradoxes—one of those books, like Pascal’s Pensees, perfect for lulls in the day that are too short to be useful but too long to be wasted—and came across these two passages:
If you do not live, think, and suffer with the men of your time, as one of them, in vain will you pretend, when the moment comes to speak to them, to adapt your language to their ear.
“Know the moderns in order to answer their difficulties and their expectations.” A touching intention. But this way of projecting the “moderns” into an objective concept, of separating oneself from them to consider them from the outside, makes this good will useless.