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Writers, Authors and Journalists Insults
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Mr Shaw is (I suspect) the only man on earth who has never written poetry.
G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) on George Bernard Shaw
Mr Wordsworth, a stupid man, with a decided gift for portraying nature in vignettes, never ruined anyone's morals, unless, perhaps, he has driven some susceptible persons to crime in a very fury of boredom.
Ezra Pound (1885-1972) on William Wordsworth
Mrs Browning's death is rather a relief to me, I must say. No more Aurora Leighs, thank God!
Edward Fitzgerald, British poet, on Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61)
My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) on James Joyce
Never did I see such apparatus got ready for thinking, and never so little thought. He mounts scaffolding, pulleys, and tackles, gathers all the tools in the neighbourhood with labour, with noise, demonstration, precept, and sets - three bricks.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) on Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
Never have I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters, we will let them pass, but the third, the fourth the fifth the sixth - merely the scratchings of pimples on the body of the boot-boy at Claridges.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) on James Joyce's Ulysses
No one has written worse English than Mr Hardy in some of his novels - cumbrous, stilted, ugly and inexpressive - yes.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) on Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
Not quite Milton, a sort of origami Milton, the paper phoenix fluttering in the wizard's hand.
Hugh Kenner on Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), American poet
Nothing but a pack of lies.
Damon Runyon (1884-1946) on Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1832-98)
Obsessed with self. Dead eyes and a red beard, long narrow face. A strange bird.
John Galsworthy (1867-1933) on D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
Of all bitches alive or dead, a scribbling woman is the most canine.
Lord Byron on Anna Seward (1747-1809)
Of Byron one can say, as of no other English poet of his eminence, that he added nothing to the language, that he discovered nothing in the sounds, and developed nothing in the meaning, of individual words.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) on Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Of Dicken's style it is impossible to speak in praise. It is jerky, ungrammatical and created by himself in defiance of rules ... No young novelist should ever dare to imitate the style of Dickens.
Anthony Trollope (1815-82), British novelist, on Charles Dickens in his Autobiography (1883)
One could always baffle Conrad by saying 'humour'.
H. G. Wells (1866-1946) on Joseph Conrad
One of the most extraordinary successes in the history of civilisation was achieved by an idler, a lecher, a drunkard, and a snob, nor was this success of that sudden explosive kind. It was the supreme expression of an entire life.
Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) on James Boswell (1740-95), British author and biographer
One of the nicest old ladies I ever met.
William Faulkner (1897-1962) on Henry James (1843-1916)
One of the seven humbugs of Xtiandom.
William Morris (1834-96), British designer and writer, on Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist and poet
One of the surest signs of his genius is that women dislike his books.
George Orwell (1903-50) on Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Open him at any page: and there lies the English language not, as George Moore said of Pater, in a glass coffin, but in a large, sultry and unhygienic box.
Dylan Thomas (1914-53) on William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Oscar Wilde's talent seems to me to be essentially rootless, something growing in glass on a little water.
George Moore (1852-1933, Anglo-Irish novelist

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