“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
14. Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
I’ll admit it. I’m somewhat of a literary geek. And, since I also like a clever, derogatory turn of phrase as much as the next critic, I couldn’t resist posting a link to this nice list I’ve recently come across: The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults In History .
The above repartee comes from the list.
Here are a couple more examples…
“That’s not writing, that’s typing.”
3. Virginia Woolf on James Joyce
“[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.”
Anyway, if this seems like your twisted idea of high-brow fun (like it is mine), take a look at all 30.
Some mighty good writing there – much of it in razor-sharp, single phrase bursts.
BTW, Papa was the most famous of all of Ernest Hemingway’s nicknames. It supposedly symbolized his public, macho persona. Hemingway was famously known to have fought in the Spanish Civil War and for his fondness of big game hunting. Hence the shotgun – which he was obviously not afraid of using (including, in the end, on himself).
I wonder if Faulkner, the archetypal Southern Gentleman, ever gave that fact any thought before criticizing his work.
(Photo: Hemingway and Gun, late spring 1952. Double barrel, side-by-side shotgun. Via John F. Kennedy Library.)