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A critic is a professional who communicates an assessment and an opinion of various forms of creative works such as
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expande ...
,
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior ...
, cinema,
theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The pe ...
,
fashion Fashion is a form of self-expression, at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing File:KangaSiyu1.jpg, A kanga (African garment), kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as cloth ...
,
architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjust ...
, and
food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Life#Biology ...
. Critics may also take as their subject social or government policy. Critical judgments, whether derived from critical thinking or not, weigh up a range of factors, including an assessment of the extent to which the item under review achieves its purpose and its creator's intention and a knowledge of its context. They may also include a positive or negative personal response. Characteristics of a good critic are articulateness, preferably having the ability to use language with a high level of appeal and skill.
Sympathy Sympathy is the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another life form. According to David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas ...
, sensitivity and insight are important too. Form, style and medium are all considered by the critic. In
architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjust ...
and food criticism, the item's function, value and cost may be added components. Critics are publicly accepted and, to a significant degree, followed because of the quality of their assessments or their reputation. Influential critics of
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
,
music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior ...
, theater and
architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjust ...
often present their arguments in complete books. One very famous example is John Ruskin's ''Seven Lamps of Architecture'' and ''The Stones of Venice (book), The Stones of Venice''. Critics may base their assessment on a range of Theoretical_definition, theoretical positions. For instance, they may take a feminist or Freudian perspective. Unlike other individuals who may editorialize on subjects via websites or letters written to publications, professional critics are paid to produce their assessment and opinions for printing, print, radio, magazine, television, or Internet_service_provider, Internet companies. When their personal opinion outweighs considered judgment, people who give opinions, whether on current events, public affairs, sports, media or art are often referred to as "pundits" instead of critics. Critics are themselves subject to competing critics, since the final critical judgment always entails subjectivity. An established critic can play a powerful role as a public arbitration, arbiter of taste or opinion. Also, critics or a coordinated group of critics, may award symbols of recognition.


Derivation

The word "critic" comes , which is a Greek derivation of the word ''(krités)'', meaning a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, value judgment, Interpretation_(logic), interpretation or observation. Early English meaning of criticism was based mainly on the Literary_criticism, criticism of literature and it was in the 17th century that more general forms of criticism began.


Critics' views of criticism

Cultural critic Clement Greenberg wrote that a good critic excels through "insights into the evidence … and by … loyalty to the relevant"; poet and critic T. S. Eliot, T.S. Eliot wrote "a critic must have a very highly developed sense of fact". In 1971, Harold C. Schonberg, chief music critic of ''The New York Times'' from 1960 to 1980, said that he wrote for himself, ''not necessarily for readers, not for musicians. ...It's not a critic's job to be right or wrong; it's his job to express an opinion in readable English.'' Schonberg was the first music critic to receive the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. Daniel Mendelsohn described the equation of criticism for critics as knowledge + Taste (sociology), taste = meaningful judgement. Restaurant critic Terry Durack explained that from a critic "you hope for a thorough, objective and legitimate discussion" that puts "opera, art or book into context, so that it adds to your own body of knowledge"; in the context of a restaurant criticism, this means it is "not about me liking it or not; it's about me helping you decide whether you are going to like it or not."


Social and political critics

Social and political critics have used various forms of art to express their criticism, including literature and music. Pierre Beaumarchais, for example, prior to the French Revolution, used his play The Marriage of Figaro (play), ''The Marriage of Figaro'' to denounce aristocratic privilege, and a critic's influence is enhanced by subsequent reworkings such as the operatic versions of Beaumarchais's play (''The Barber of Seville'') by Gioachino Rossini, Rossini and (''The Marriage of Figaro'') by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart. August Ahlqvist, a Finland, Finnish professor and poet, who highly admired J. L. Runeberg, the national poet of Finland, gave very negative feedback to the entire literary production of the author Aleksis Kivi, when Kivi presented content of the peoples social life in the form of rude Realism (arts), realism instead of romanticism. Among the most famous social/political criticism in literary form are Jonathan Swift, Jonathan Swift's satire ''Gulliver's Travels'' and George Orwell's satire ''Animal Farm''. Some political critics, such as Ai Weiwei use visual art as their medium. Throughout history, political critics have faced higher risks, including the risk of imprisonment or death.


Online critics

Several websites have developed for the purpose of compiling or publishing original critical reviews. Examples include ''Blogcritics, BlogCritics Magazine'', Rotten Tomatoes, and Yelp. According to A. O. Scott, chief film critic for ''The New York Times'', everyone on the Internet is a critic. Some critics like Roger Ebert achieve iconic status in pop culture and become well regarded.


Cinematography and television

The American film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel At the Movies (1986 TV program)#Siskel & Ebert & the Movies (1986–99), collaborated and appeared on television sometimes agreeing on their review of cinematographic works; sometimes they would differ. Film critics may use Star (classification)#Film, star classification to qualify the reviewed works. Characters depicting critics have been part of some movies, and have been represented in comedies, such as a food critic in the animated fantasy-comedy ''Ratatouille (film), Ratatouille'', and as an art critic in one of the initial parts of the anthology comedy film ''The History of the World Part I''.


Responses to critics

People whose work is the subject of criticism have a full range of responses to it. For example, they may be appreciative, offended, distressed, encouraged, amused or nonplussed.


See also


References

{{authority control Criticism Entertainment occupations Humanities occupations