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Great Literary Catfights: Capote vs. Kerouac, Stein vs. Pound, Shaw vs. Shakespeare and More!
Melville House posted a real gem today–a collection of snarky comments great authors have made about other authors, with context. Some favorites:
“George Bernard Shaw, who has devoted a large part of his time to whacking his fellow-dramatist William Shakespeare, once remarked that the indiscriminate eulogies of that poet filled him with an insane desire to dig Shakespeare’s bones up and throw stones at them.”
Nothing can quite fuel literary insult so much as youthful ageism. But there’s nothing like youth to make an insult seem so uniformed, either. Thus, T.S. Eliot‘s snobbish dismissal of Henry James has, over the years, reflected back on him as much as his subject.
The comment? In an attack on James that ran in the Little Review in August, 1918 (barely two years after James’ death), “He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it.”
Finally, it turns out that Dorothy Parker isn’t a Winnie the Pooh fan:
But [Parker's] review of A.A. Milne’s House on Pooh Corner may have been her masterpiece, and it was triggered by one, telling word. “And it is that word ‘hummy,’ my darlings,” she explained, “that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up.”
Read the whole collection here.