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The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time

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  • Wes/Tampa Metal Music Examiner 6 years ago

    Christ, I thought the whole Korn vs Slipknot fued was brutal. (Sad part is thats been the only 'metal' fued lately).

  • Randy 6 years ago

    I'm a Hemingway fan; did a master's thesis on him. No. 1 is the best.

  • Xm 6 years ago

    The GBS quote on Ulysses is entirely unfair! It is taken from his response to a prospectus sent from Shakespeare and Company. He was *NOT* saying Ulysses was a bad book. He was saying that it was a book that painted an accurate picture of Dublin as he (GBS) saw it and that people should read it!

  • Liz B-Howard Stern Examiner 6 years ago

    What a great article! I think I'm going to be coming back to this one a lot! Hope it gets you lots of hits!

  • Garfield 6 years ago

    You spelled Faulkner wrong.

  • Paul 6 years ago

    #22 Best of List.

  • Caro 6 years ago

    Who does Nabokov think he is?

  • Joe 5 years ago

    A great writer, and he's right.

  • Gustavo 5 years ago

    Couid Nabokov think? I doubt his IQ was over 60.

  • Brachinus 6 years ago

    "That's not writing, it's typing." -- Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac's "On The Road."

  • Nabokov 6 years ago

    You spelled Nabokov incorrectly as well.

  • Michelle Kerns 6 years ago

    @Nabokov: This is why writing while half asleep in the middle of the night is never, ever a good idea. Thanks.

  • RobertB 6 years ago

    This reads more like a classic clash of the titan egos to me- pure sour grapes.

  • berry 6 years ago

    my money on william hazlitt re his friend coleridge for best literary dis ever, "everlasting inconsequentiality marks all he does."

  • Nordette 6 years ago

    I wish writer gossip/disses/love life, etc., were still hot copy because some of the dirt dished in writing communities--from love affairs to professional rivalries--is the stuff of great soap operas, maybe even good novels. Today only actors and musicians rate that kind of attention.

    Do we have any writers/poets today hot enough to spark public interest in their personal lives or angst? It used to be some good ego clashes could sell a few books. Sigh. What's happened to the world? :-)

    I got a kick out of this.

    Nordette Adams
    African-American Books Examiner

  • S.Matt 6 years ago

    This has been a great reminder that different writing appeals to different people. I love Nabokov, Twain, Updike, Salinger, Capote. I hate Shakespeare, Wilde, etc.

    That's writing.

  • Naomi Johnson 6 years ago

    What, none of Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer slinging mud at each other?

  • Adam OR 6 years ago

    What about Hemingway's entire story "A Matter of Measurements" from A Moveable Feast? The stuff when they're peeing next to each other is classic classic disses on F. Scott Fitzgerald, directly challenging his manhood.

  • Dave 6 years ago

    Authors are some mean mofo's.

  • No Man 6 years ago

    Ahhh, as a playwright, who shall remain nameless, I don't like my fellow playwrights much either. (bunch of talentless jerks) So it just appears that writers do not like other writers for some reason. Maybe because we all know we're all just a bunch alcoholic frauds with God-complexes. (i.e.) Die you manipulative religious-obsessed John Patrick Shanley, and shove your Pulitzer up your chimney.

  • Izzy 6 years ago

    great article!

  • zomg 6 years ago

    Don't get me started on Faulkner. My mother is a fish? My ass.

  • ceallaig 6 years ago

    My question is: if Mark Twain hated Jane Austen why does he say 'every time I read it?' Wouldn't once have been enough? Ditto Noel Coward's slam on Oscar Wilde: "Am reading MORE OF"? as if the first dose wasn't sufficient? I'm sure most of these slams were meant to be witty, and I agree with a number of them, but ... wit used for the sake of nasty doesn't work for me.

  • rklein 6 years ago

    PLEASE spell Edgar Allan Poe correctly.

  • Michelle Kerns 6 years ago

    @rklein: Ditto what I said to Nabokov. It's a mercy that I didn't spell my own damn name wrong. Oh wait, maybe I should check that....

  • Dexter VanDango 6 years ago

    I like Samual Johnson's response to a would-be author:
    Your book is both good and original - unfortunately the parts that are good are not original and the parts that are original are not good."

    Letterman's recent line about Sarah Palin's book is not bad: "It's an excellent book ..for standing on when you're reaching for a better one."

  • leigha 6 years ago

    @rklien: don't be such a nitpicky bookwormed biatch

  • Simon 6 years ago

    I'd like to hear the replies to some of these. :-)

  • mike 6 years ago

    supposedly, Truman Capote was asked to review Kerouac's On the Road, and replied, "That's not writing, it's typing"

  • whammo 6 years ago

    i got a kick out of alot of these... but faulkner was way off base about twain.

  • Arconseal 5 years ago

    Faulkner's points about Twain seem to apply to himself. Strange.

  • Cliff Jackson 6 years ago

    Michelle, you missed the best, this exchange between Faulkner and Hemingway:

    First, William Faulkner, speaking of Ernest Hemingway: ‘He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.’

    And Hemingway’s response: ‘Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?’

  • Erica Z 6 years ago

    Read a compilation called "The Best of Bad Hemingway," a collection of winning submissions to the Harry's Bar & American Grill Imitation Hemingway Competition, mixed in with stories by famous authors writing their best parodies of Hemingway's style. A must-read for Hemingway haters, but probably just as enjoyable for Hemingway lovers.

  • Elle 6 years ago

    Funny!

  • April 6 years ago

    LOL this was fantastic. Yes writers are critical of their counterparts, but with good reason. It keeps us in our own niche and our own style. Knowing what you don't want to be like is similar to how you define yourself. (maybe is an ingrown trait to help combat subconscious plagiarism as well). As a writer you have to know how to define yourself and what you want from your writing (and consequently, you end up believing that this is the only way to write as well!) I have a friend that is 'trying' to be a writer and i've tried helping him, but, of course, he thinks his way is the way and I, of course, disagree! Writers will forever bump heads. Isn't it the same with other arts?

  • Droo 6 years ago

    Mark Twain wrote an entire essay entitled "James Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses". The whole thing is great, but my favorite part is the 2nd paragraph: "Cooper's art has some defects. In one place in Deerslayer, and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record."

    Also, Oscar Wilde on Dickens' "Old Curiosity Shop": 'One would have to have a heart of stone to read about the death of little Nell without laughing.'

  • Judy Nedry 6 years ago

    Your comments are as good as the insults. Well done, but where was Truman Capote?

  • nrh_123 6 years ago

    Stephen King. Untouchable...again.

  • CarolB 6 years ago

    I question Mark Twain's hatred of Jane Austen. Why would he read Pride and Prejudice more than once if he disliked it so much ("Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice,' I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.")?

  • Havel 6 years ago

    The compiler has settled on some mediocre instances. Three examples: Bloom has made far more acerbic comments on Rowling than the one above; Nabokov made a great sport of skewering Dostoevsky, but this representative remark is bland and doesn't add the useful comment that Nabokov despised Freud more than he despised Dostoevsky. Finally, why quote Twain on an author seldom read today? Twain's clever dissection of James Fenimore Cooper in "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" - in addition to being very instructive - is littered with delicious insults of Cooper's style (or lack thereof).

  • Havel 6 years ago

    The compiler has settled on some mediocre instances. Three examples: Bloom has made far more acerbic comments on Rowling than the one above; Nabokov made a great sport of skewering Dostoevsky, but this representative remark is bland and doesn't add the useful comment that Nabokov despised Freud more than he despised Dostoevsky. Finally, why quote Twain on an author seldom read today? Twain's clever dissection of James Fenimore Cooper in "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" - in addition to being very instructive - is littered with delicious insults of Cooper's style (or lack thereof).

  • Gili 6 years ago

    Then there's the famous comment from Anthony Hope (author of "The Prisoner of Zenda") after watching J.M.Barrie's "Peter Pan": "Oh, for an hour of Herod!"

  • VintageGent.com 6 years ago

    Havel says:
    more than he despised Dostoevsky. Finally, why quote Twain on an author seldom read today?""

    Pride and Prejudice has reached a new audience with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." It will be inescapable, save for the underside of a rock, when the film comes out.

  • Gene Bowker- Mark Twain Examiner 6 years ago

    Great article.. it is fun to see how authors can go at each other much like spouses or lovers.. or politicans!

    I mentioned your article today in my piece about Twain being Examined. Keep up the good work!

  • Joy 6 years ago

    What? No quote from _The Dunciad_?

  • celia yeary 6 years ago

    What a great article! Well done, my dear. I'm glad none of those will ever read one of mine. I'd curl up in a ball and die. Celia

  • Lynn Kinnaman - Bozeman Writing Examiner 6 years ago

    This is great! Besides illustrating that good writing is subjective, you have generated interesting dialogue among those who have additional stories to contribute. Well done!

  • Andy 6 years ago

    Who the hell is Harold Bloom? And he was way off with Harry Potter. Ha.

  • Gwyn Ramsey 6 years ago

    A very interesting concept...author against author. Funny how many of them felt about another author and to write about it. Kinda sad in a way. You can think those things, but to say them in public...

  • Rectinol 6 years ago

    Shakespeare spake of that wot ye not know ... Bacon's coded reference to the spiritual enlightenment of man remains unheeded. All other coffee-table acessories are unnecessary except the Bible and Dante ... read em and weep.

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