Yesterday I tripped over a two-part article at the Philadelphia Examiner Book Examiner blog that list the “50 best author vs. author put-downs” – and, wow. They are good.
My personal favorite is Ernest Hemingway on James Jones:
To me he is an enormously skillful f#*&-up and his book will do great damage to our country. Probably I should re-read it again to give you a truer answer. But I do not have to eat an entire bowl of scabs to know they are scabs…I hope he kills himself….
This one is also good, Mark Twain on Jane Austen:
I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.
Me too, Mark.