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Writers, Authors and Journalists Insults
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Henry James has a mind - a sensibility -so fine that no mere idea could ever penetrate it.
T. S. Eliot on Henry James (1843-1916)
Here are Johnny Keats' piss-a-bed poetry, and three novels by God knows whom... No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don't I must skin him myself: there is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the Mankin.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) on John Keats (1795-1821)
He's impossible. He's pathetic and preposterous. He writes like a sick man.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) on D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
His brain is a half-inch layer of champagne poured over a bucket of Methodist near-beer.
Benjamin de Casseres on George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
His imagination resembles the wings of an ostrich.
Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59) on John Dryden (1631-1700), English poet
His manners are ninety-nine in a hundred singularly repulsive.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) on William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist
His mind is so vile a mind, so cosy, hypocritical, praise-mad, canting, envious, concupiscent.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), British poet, on Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), British novelist
His verse... is the beads without the string.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) on Robert Browning (1812-89)
His very frankness is a falsity. In fact, it seems falser than his insincerity.
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) on her husband John Middleton Murry (1889-1957)
I am fairly unrepentant about her poetry. I really think that three quarters of it is gibberish. However, I must crush down these thoughts, otherwise the dove of peace will shit on me.
Noel Coward (1899-1973) on Dame Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)
I attempt to describe Mr Swinburne; and lo! the Bacchanal screams, the sterile Dolores sweats, serpents dance, men and women wrench, wriggle and foam in an endless alliteration of heated and meaningless words...
Robert Buchanan (1841-1901) on Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
I believe he creates a milieu in which art is impossible.
Ezra Pound on G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
I cannot abide Conrad's souvenir shop style and bottled ships and shell necklaces of romanticist cliches.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) on Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
I could not write the words Mr Joyce uses: my prudish hands would refuse to form the letters.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) on James Joyce (1882-1941)
I detest the country. Yeats will amuse me part of the time and bore me to death with psychical research the rest. I regard the visit as a duty to posterity.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), American poet, on visiting William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Irish poet
I don't regard Brecht as a man of iron-grey purpose and intellect. I think he is a theatrical whore of the first quality.
Peter Hall (b.1930) on Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)
I don't think I have ever seen a nastier looking man. Some people show evil as a great racehorse shows breeding. They have the dignity of a hard chancre. Lewis did not show evil; he just looked nasty.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) on Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)
I don't think Robert Browning was very good in bed. His wife probably didn't care for him very much. He snored and had fantasies about twelve-year-old girls.
W. H. Auden on Robert Browning (1812-89)
I doubt that the infant monster has any more to give.
Henry James on Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
I fell asleep reading a dull book, and I dreamed that I was reading on, so I awoke from sheer boredom.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

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