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Dare Obasanjo scripsit:
> I guess
> people just love to complain instead of providing constructive feedback.
While I agree that the lack of official comment is inexcusable, there
is a pervasive equivocation on "constructive" (as in criticism) that is
typically overlooked. Not your fault particularly, to be sure.
When people ask for "constructive criticism", they mean both 1)
"helpful", and 2) "assisting in the further construction of the
work". Unfortunately, often the most helpful criticism that can be
given is that the work is misconceived or misexecuted, and should be
abandoned or restarted. Actually saying this leads to such howls for
"constructiveness" that many people won't even try.
Here are some fine examples of constructive criticism:
1. When carving a statue of an elephant, one must start with a block of
material and cut away anything that doesn't look like an elephant.
2. A reply to a review, by the musician Max Reger (also attributed to
I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. Your review
is before me. Soon it will be behind me.
3. In the 18th century, an anonymous playwright sent a English theatre
manager his verse tragedy on Mariamne, the wife of King Herod. The play,
to say the least, did not meet contemporary standards of commercial value.
The manager therefore published the following epigram:
Poet, whoe'er thou art, God damn thee;
Go hang thyself, and burn thy _Mariamne_.
John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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