In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.
Criticism didn’t really stop us and it shouldn’t ever stop anyone, because critics are only the people who can’t get a record deal themselves.
An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates.
All of a sudden, critics wanted me squashed like a bug. And it wasn’t just that I had money all of a sudden, either. The hidden complaint was that I was barbarous, that I wrote without having made a systematic study of great literature, that I was no gentleman, since I had done hack writing so cheerfully for vulgar magazines—that I had not paid my academic dues. I had suffered, all right—but as a badly educated person in vulgar company and in a vulgar trade. It was dishonorable enough that I perverted art for money. I then topped that felony by becoming, as I say, fabulously well-to-do. Well, that’s just too damn bad for me and for everybody. I’m completely in print, so we’re all stuck with me and stuck with my books.