Author on Author Insults

"A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs." 
 Friedrich Nietzsche on Dante Alighieri  

"An idiot child screaming in a hospital." 
 H.G.Wells on George Bernard Shaw  

" a large shaggy dog just unchained scouring the beaches of the world and baying at the moon." Robert Louis Stevenson on Walt Whitman  

"Filth.  Nothing but obscenities."
 Joseph Conrad on D.H. Lawrence

"A village explainer.  Excellent if you were in a village, but if you were not, not."
  Gertrude Stein on Ezra Pound  

Are there any authors in todays world who loathe each other with a vengeance, like, old style?  You know, none of this 'your mother wears bloomers' business, more, -boxing gloves at the ready type stuff.  Back in the day, people didn't hold back on opinions; nowadays everything seems so lovey-dovey fluffy-wuffy, so very PC.  I stumbled across this gem courtesy via Flavorwire, it's the ' 30 Harshest Author on Author Insults In History',  try not to spill your tea whilst reading these quotes.

Insults and jokes aside, -when reviewing or critiquing each others work, how honest are we?  Do we really tell our friends the naked truth, or do we offer a watered down version of what we think they'd like to hear?  I'd like to think people appreciate the good old fashioned truth, possibly not as harsh at these quotes, maybe a dash of fluffiness but at the core of it, - essentially the truth, good or not so good.  Ahem, the latter comes with a box of tissues and a martini.  How about you, how honest are your reviews and critiques?

A/N:  Hello everyone!  Hope your week is coming along swimmingly.  Does everyone realise its mid-July already?!  Flippety flip, this year is flying by.  As promised, I can announce the lucky winner of my first ever contest - celebrating the paperback release of  'Who is Mr Satoshi?'  The winner of the draw is:  Laura Pepper!  Congrats and please enjoy Mr Satoshi!

Whats on your diary for this weekend?  Mine will largely be comprised of sleeping, relaxing, writing and perhaps a film at the local picture house.  Nothing too strenuous is my motto.  Have a lovely one wherever you are.  Talei xox


  1. Old time authors could be ridiculous. I watched a couple slaps to the face in a Restoration Literature class once. The thing that got me wasn't all the sniping (if you listen to pop music, a lot of singers reference each other, sometimes in disparaging ways), but the low quality of some. Pope called a woman he didn't like a lesbian and her male friend gay. She mocked him for being Irish and made fun of his deformities. I prefer my sniping to be of a higher caliber.

    And, I must say, Shaw is much better than a screaming child.

  2. Opinions, everybody has at least one like bellybuttons and a**holes. If all writers could please all readers all of the time we wouldn't have critics (which might not be so bad...)

  3. I loved the one from Mark Twain about Jane Austen. He says he doesn't like her writing but then says 'everytime I read (it)' ... if he didn't like it why does he go back and reread :)

    Happy Weekend!

  4. LOL--those are great! Very creative, too. I think they just wanted to have fun making cool similes and metaphors. And how honest am I? Well...sometimes I do water it down or at least sugar-coat it. There's no need to be harsh! The truth that someone's writing needs a lot of work is a harsh enough truth. ;o)

  5. Those author insults sound more like jealous rants! Sheesh.

    Pool, reading, writing, dinner out. That's about the size of my weekend. Have a nice one!

  6. Dominique, that Restoration Literary class sounds amazing, sign me up! And to be honest, not sure about the slaps but I like the passion behind the emotion, just may be they could express it another way.

    Bish, absolutely. We can't be everything to all and we shouldn't try to be. Unless we're like Facebook or twitter...or dare I say google +

    Carol! *high fives* loved that one too. And its true, in some ways, the dear lady was obsessed with the business of being marriageable. Funnily, I've been thinking about Miss Austen recently, her MCs are very much the same character, non?

    Carol, they're hysterical! I couldn't stop laughing. With critiques, my stand is - if it were my work - I'd want the naked truth, because how else am I going to improve it? Dressing up the critique prolongs the pain and I need something to strive for.

    Liz, I hear ya. But no-one does rants like the old skool authors though. Ah, the pool, your weekend sounds fab, enjoy my friend! ;)

  7. I think you have some literary complainers. But they're funny & insightful, too!

  8. I got to review one of my critique buddy's manuscripts last week and it was my first attempt. I was actually surprised by how well I did at the critique part.

  9. Hi, Talei,

    I just love your positive and refreshing posts...

    This weekend started with viewing the new HP film. It was so much better than I thought it would be.

    Today was full full of store hopping, trying to locate the perfect alarm clock. FInding one with style and not a annoying sound for the alarm was quite the challenge, but I did eventually find an awesome one.

    Tomorrow I am off the Wisconsin to visit a fabulous blogger friend. The last time we met was in a very noisy piano bar at a Disney resort. Now we will have the delight of many many hours of writerly conversation. YAY!

    I'm spending the night in a great hotel. SO it should be a fantastic outing.

  10. A hyena that writes poetry on tombs? Ouch!

    I think nobody worried about being "politically and socially correct" in their world. It was okay to lash out, be obnoxious, say something outrageous -- and enjoy the attention they got from it.

    Oh, wait. Those writers were the Hollywood actors and pop stars of their day. :D

  11. Lisa, agreed. They're pretty snarky but funny. These days, it would be hard to get away with the same critisisms.

    Wow, Alex - well done! *high five*

    Michael, I want your weekend plans! - Well, maybe the great hotel part! I know I've said it before, but its great to meet out writerly bloggers. And I've a feeling you will find the most stylish alarm clock! XO

    *much chuckling* Dianne, thats true. These authors were definitely literary stars in their day, their diva behaviour was probably expected/tolerated. Sometimes, I worry that we are the extreme opposite, over cautious about what we say. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Pretty venomous quotes. Maybe today everyone is more careful about what they say so they don't get sued or slammed in the media.

    My week-end is now over. I spent too much time sleeping if that's possible.

    Tossing It Out

  13. Arlee, definitely society has changed values and whats acceptable is a stark contrast to times gone by. I guess we should just all go by the 'Love thy neighbour' rule to be safe, non? I wonder how some comedians get away with their comments though.

    Sleep is GOOD. Lucky you! ;-)


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