Joyce Carol Oates

March 5, 1973.  “[…]  How is a writer to contemplate his critics?  To ignore them, to take them very seriously, to pick and choose among them?  It would be a pity to banish all criticism simply because some of it, or most, is worthless; there are very intelligent, sensitive people writing criticism today.  But just as I don’t read student evaluations of my classes at the University (having been astonished and embarrassed at what I did read:  praise for all the wrong reasons), I think it’s a good general principle not to read most of the criticism and reviews written about me …”

– Joyce Carol Oates, The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates, 1973 – 1982 (Harper Perennial)

4 thoughts on “Joyce Carol Oates

  1. Sue

    Well, she’s a very sensible woman and this sounds right to me. But I do think you have to have a great deal of self-confidence not to go looking for affirmation from reviews. I certainly don’t have that sort of confidence. I try to only read “good’ reviews, which seems like cheating, but, hey, you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do.

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