Commonplace Book: Jacques Barzun on Criticism
Criticism, however lofty, profound, subtle, and divinatory, remains exposition and analysis; it is referential and argumentative; it is not original, creative, independent of a text or a theory. … Dryden, Hazlitt, Wilde, and Shaw were superb essayists, masters of a literary genre. But they were artist-creators only when they were writing plays, poems, or novels. These three things used to be called properly fiction–things made up; criticism is derived. It cannot be made up without ceasing to be criticism.
“Criticism: An Art or a Craft?” (1990)