If you can’t say something nice about somebody, then go for the throat. Case in point:
9 Famous Writers Ripping Other Famous Writers
by Will McGough
1. Ernest Hemingway to William Faulkner
It’s not much of a surprise that these two writers of such differing styles would butt heads. This tiff in particular began with Faulkner accusing Hemingway of never using a word that would send a reader to the dictionary. Hemingway’s classic response still serves as sound advice to writers today. “Poor Faulkner,” Hemingway said, “Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
2. Truman Capote to Jack Kerouac
In an attempt to undermine the success of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road,which had overshadowed his own recent release, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote took a shot at the budding author when he was asked for his thoughts about the up-and-coming Beat Generation. “None of these people have anything interesting to say and none of them can write, not even Mr. Kerouac,” he said. “That isn’t writing. It’s typing.” In the end, Kerouac got the last laugh as his “typing” style of “spontaneous writing” turned out to be quite popular.
3. Mark Twain on Jane Austen
Twain’s hatred for Austen’s writing seemingly knew no limits. He once said that “Her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
4. George Bernard Shaw on William Shakespeare
Whether he was jealous of the great playwright or simply hated his swagger, Shaw made his dislike of Shakespeare very clear:
I have striven hard to open English eyes to the emptiness of Shakespeare’s philosophy, to the superficiality and second-handedness of his morality, to his weakness and incoherence as a thinker, to his snobbery, his vulgar prejudices, his ignorance, his disqualifications of all sorts for the philosophic eminence claimed for him.
He even made a puppet play, Shakes versus Shav, that featured a quarrel between the two writers.
5. William Faulkner on Mark Twain
Faulkner would eventually praise Twain as “the Father of American literature,” but as a young writer and student at Ole Miss, he apparently wasn’t impressed, calling him “a hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy….”