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Writers, Authors and Journalists Insults
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A fat flabby little person with the face of a baker, the clothes of a cobbler, the size of a barrelmaker, the manners of a stocking salesman and the dress of an innkeeper.
Victor de Balabin on Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)
A fungus of pendulous shape.
Alice James on George Eliot (1819-80)
A good man fallen among Fabians.
attr. Vladimir llyich Lenin (1870-1924) on George Bernard Shaw (1874-1936)
A great author, notwithstanding his Dictionary is imperfect, his Rambler pompous, his Idler inane, his Lives unjust, his poetry inconsiderable, his learning common, his ideas vulgar, his Irene a child of mediocrity, his genius and wit moderate, his precepts wordly, his politics narrow and his religion bigoted.
Robert Potter, British critic, on Samuel Johnson, in 1781
A great cow full of ink.
Gustave Flaubert (1821-80) on George Sand (1804-76)
A hack writer who would not have been considered a fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven 'sure-fire' literary skeletons with sufficient local colour to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.
William Faulkner (1897-1962) on Mark Twain (1835-1910)
A huge pendulum attached to a small clock.
Ivan Panin, Russian critic, on Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), poet
A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) on Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
A large shaggy dog just unchained scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) on Walt Whitman (1819-91)
A lewd vegetarian.
Charles Kingsley (1819-75) on Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
A louse in the locks of literature.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), on critic Churton Collins
A man carved from a turnip looking out from astonished eyes.
W. B. Yeats on George Moore (1852-1933), Anglo-Irish novelist
A mere ulcer; a sore from head to foot; a poor devil so completely flayed that there is not a square inch of healthy flesh on his carcass; an overgrown pimple, sore to the touch.
Quarterly Review (1817) on William Hazlitt (1778-1830)
A Methodist parson in Bedlam.
Horace Walpole (1717-97) on Dante (1265-1321)
A monster, gibbering, shrieking and gnashing imprecations against mankind.
William Makepeace Thackeray on Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
A poor creature, who has said or done nothing worth a serious man taking the trouble of remembering.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) on Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
A reptile marking his path wherever he goes and breathing a mildew at everything fresh and fragrant; a midnight ghoul preying on rottenness and repulsive filth. A creature hated by his nearest intimates and bearing his consciousness thereof upon his distorted features and upon his despicable soul.
Walt Whitman (1819-91) on James Gordon Bennett, editor and journalist of the New York Herald
A strange horrible business, but I suppose good enough for Shakespeare's day.
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) on Shakespeare's King Lear
A tadpole of the lakes.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) on John Keats (1795-1821)
A totally disinherited waif.
George Santayana (1863-1952), American philosopher, on Charles Dickens (1812-70)

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