„Your criticism sounds to me as if you have read too many critical books and are too smart in an artificial, destructive, and very limited way.“

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Flannery O'Connor
1925 - 1964
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„There is a need for this subtype — but not too many.
The critical thing with schizotypal shamanism is, it is not uncontrolled the way it is in the schizophrenic.“

—  Robert M. Sapolsky American endocrinologist 1957
Context: In the 1930s an anthropologist named Paul Radin first described it as "shamans being half mad," shamans being "healed madmen." This fits exactly. It's the shamans who are moving separate from everyone else, living alone, who talk with the dead, who speak in tongues, who go out with the full moon and turn into a hyena overnight, and that sort of stuff. It's the shamans who have all this metamagical thinking. When you look at traditional human society, they all have shamans. What's very clear, though, is they all have a limit on the number of shamans. That is this classic sort of balanced selection of evolution. There is a need for this subtype — but not too many. The critical thing with schizotypal shamanism is, it is not uncontrolled the way it is in the schizophrenic. This is not somebody babbling in tongues all the time in the middle of the hunt. This is someone babbling during the right ceremony. This is not somebody hearing voices all the time, this is somebody hearing voices only at the right point. It's a milder, more controlled version. Shamans are not evolutionarily unfit. Shamans are not leaving fewer copies of their genes. These are some of the most powerful, honored members of society. This is where the selection is coming from. … In order to have a couple of shamans on hand in your group, you're willing to put up with the occasional third cousin who's schizophrenic.

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„The man writes with such genuine passion for the books he's discussing. With so many critics you feel they're writing so people will say they're good critics.“

—  William Empson English literary critic and poet 1906 - 1984
W. H. Auden, recorded in Alan Ansen (ed. Nicholas Jenkins) The Table Talk of W. H. Auden (London: Faber, 1991) p. 44.

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„Too often critics seem more intent on seeking new ways to alter Congress than to truly learn how it functions.“

—  Gerald Ford American politician, 38th President of the United States (in office from 1974 to 1977) 1913 - 2006
Context: Too often critics seem more intent on seeking new ways to alter Congress than to truly learn how it functions. They might well profit from the advice of Thomas Huxley, who said a century ago: "Sit down before facts as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion — or you shall learn nothing." Address at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (3 November 1966); published in Gerald R. Ford,Selected Speeches (1973) edited by Michael V. Doyle <!-- p. 114 -->

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Brad Bird photo

„In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.“

—  Brad Bird American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor 1957
Context: In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new; an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook". But I realize — only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more. "Anton Ego" in Ratatouille (2007)

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„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“