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Writers, Authors and Journalists Insults
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Conrad spent a day finding the mot juste: then killed it.
Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939) on Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Crude, immoral, vulgar and senseless.
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) on William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Dank, limber verses, stuft with lakeside sedges, And propt with rotten stakes from rotten hedges.
Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864), British poet, on William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Dean Swift, by his lordship's own account, was so intoxicated with the love of flattery, he sought it amongst the lowest of people and the silliest of women; and was never so well pleased with any companions as those that worshipped him, while he insulted them.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) on Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Dear Sam, I shall take your advice and not read your book. It would probably pain me and not benefit you. Your Affectionate father, T. Butler
Canon T. Butler to his son, Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
E. M. Forster never gets any further than warming the teapot. He's a rare fine hand at that. Feel this teapot. Is it not beautifully warm? Yes, but there ain't going to be no tea.
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), on E. M. Forster (1879-1970), British novelist, in her Journal (1917)
Emerson is one who lives instinctively on ambrosia - and leaves everything indigestible on his plate.
Friedrich Nietszche (1844-1900) on Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)
Emerson's writing has a cold, cheerless glitter, like the new furniture in a warehouse, which will come of use hy and by.
Alexander Smith, American writer, in Dreamthorp (1864), on Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and poet
Everything which another man would have hidden, everything the publication of which would have made another man hang himself, was a matter of exaltation to his weak and diseased mind.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), British historian, on James Boswell (1740-95), author and biographer
Fielding had as much humour perhaps as Addison, but, having no idea of grace, is perpetually disgusting.
Horace Walpole (1717-97) on Henry Fielding (1707-54)
Filth. Nothing but obscenities.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) on D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
Freud Madox Fraud
Osbert Sitwell (1892-1969), British writer, on Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939), British writer
From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.
Groucho Marx (1895-1977) on Dawn Ginsbergh's Revenge by Sydney J. Perelman
George Eliot had the heart of Sappho; but the face, with the long proboscis, the protruding teeth of the Apocalyptic horse, betrayed animality.
George Meredith (1828-1909), British novelist and poet, on George Eliot (1819-1880), British novelist
George too Shaw to be Good.
Dylan Thomas (1914-53) on George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Gertrude Stein's prose is a cold, black suet-pudding. We can represent it as a cold suet-roll of fabulously reptilian length. Cut it at any point, it is... the same heavy, sticky, opaque mass all through, and all along.
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) on Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
Hardy became a sort of village atheist brooding and blaspheming over the village idiot.
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), British writer, on Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), novelist and poet
He grew up from manhood into boyhood.
R. A. Knox (1888-1957) on G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
He had not the intellectual equipment of a supreme modern poet; except for his genius he was an ordinary nineteenth-century gentleman, with little culture and no ideas.
Matthew Arnold (1822-88), British poet and critic, on Lord Byron (1788-1824)
He has a gross and repulsive face but appears ban enfant when you talk to him. But he is the dullest Briton of them all.
Henry James (1843-1916) on Anthony Trollope (1815-82)

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