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Writers, Authors and Journalists Insults
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Walt Whitman is as unacquainted with art as a hog with mathematics.
London Critic on Walt Whitman (1819-91)
We can say of Shakespeare , that never has a man turned so little knowledge to such great account.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) on William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
We have met too late. You are too old for me to have any effect on you.
James Joyce (1882-1941) to W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
We invite people like that to tea, but we don't marry them.
Lady Chetwode on her future son-in-law, John Betjeman (1906-84)
What a tiresome, affected sod.
Noel Coward (1899-1973) on Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
What an old covered wagon she is.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) on Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
What does pain me exceedingly is that you should write so badly. These verses are execrable, and I am shocked that you seem unable to perceive it.
Edmund Gosse to Robert Nichols (1893-1944)
What is Conrad but the wreck of Stevenson floating about in the slipsop of Henry James?
George Moore (1852-1933) on Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Why sir, Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such excess of stupidity, sir, is not in nature.
Samuel Johnson (1709-84) on Thomas Sheridan (1719-88)
With leering Looks, Bull-fac'd and freckl'd fair, With two left legs, and Judas colour'd Hair, And frowzy Pores that taint the ambient Air.
John Dryden (1631 -1700) on Jacob Tonson, a publisher
With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his... it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) on William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Without being intentionally obscene, he is thoroughly filthy, and has not the slightest sense of decency. In an old writer, and especially one of that age, I never saw so large a proportion of what may truly be called either trash or ordure.
Robert Southey (1774-1843), poet laureate, in Commonplace Book (1812), on Robert Herrick (1592-1674), English poet
Wordsworth has left a bad impression wherever he visited in town by his egotism, vanity and bigotry.
John Keats (1795-1821) on William Wordsworth
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and sings...
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) on Hervey, John, Baron Hervey of Ickworth (1696-1743), British courtier and writer
You can gain nothing by reading her. It is like eating snowballs, with which one can surfeit one's self without satisfying the stomach.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) on Madame Marie de Sevigne (1626-96)
You talk about yourself a great deal. That's why there are no distinctive characters in your writing. Your characters are all alike. You probably don't understand women; you've never depicted one successfully.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) to Maxim Gorky (1868-1936)

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