• The popular distinction between 'constructive' and 'destructive' criticism is a sentimentality: the mind too weak to perceive in what respects the bad fails is not strong enough to appreciate in what the good succeeds. To be without discrimination is to be unable to praise. The critic who lets you know that he always looks for something to like in works he discusses is not telling you anything about the works or about art; he is saying 'see what a nice person I am.