In 1646, Sir Thomas Browne wanted to rid the world of a vast range of false beliefs -- that elephants have no knees, that beavers bite off their testicles to avoid capture, that garlic disempowers magnets, and so on and on. Browne's problem was that he had no simple way of describing what he was doing.
Criticism is very subjective. My first editor told me, "I don't care for your writing style. Too personal." A decade later that personal style landed me a publisher's contract for my autobiography, Father's Touch. My advice when seeking out critical opinion is not to sell yourself short -- aim high, not low.
This week I had the imperfect pleasure of reading the final work of an author who admired Orwell and who died at age 62 under comparable circumstance. The imperfection of the pleasure with which I greeted the arrival to my mailbox of a new Christopher Hitchens book was a matter of subtraction, a momentary joy diminished by the awareness I'd never experience it again.