10 Writers Who Hate Other Writers
Writers are supposed to support other writers – as each and every one of them knows how tough the industry is. However, there are some writers who just downright hate each other. Some because they hate their works, and others just because they’re just bitter.
Here are 10 of the best writer feuds you need to read…
1. Vidal VS Mailer
We all know Norman Mailer has quite the temper – and if you don’t you should read our article 10 Jaw Dropping Stories About World Famous Authors. So we shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that he once hit Gore Vidal at a party. It all started when Vidal compared Mailer to Charles Manson, leading to the violent attack. However, Vidal soon got the best of Mailer during The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, with him saying “once again, words fail Norman Mailer”.
Well, we say he got the best of him, Mailer did head butt Vidal backstage. Watch the argument here…
2. Ellis VS Wallace
Bret Easton Ellis isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself, and openly blasted the late writer David Foster Wallace on Twitter back in 2012. Ellis tweeted:
“Saint David Foster Wallace: a generation trying to read him feels smart about themselves, which is part of the whole bullshit package. Fools.
David Foster Wallace carried around a literary pretentiousness that made me embarrassed to have any kind of ties to the publishing scene…
DFW is the best example of a contemporary male writer lusting for a kind of awful greatness that he simply wasn’t able to achieve. A fraud.”
However, it wasn’t just a one way street, as Wallace didn’t really like Ellis, stating about the author in the 1988 essay ‘Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young’:
“The attitude betrayed is similar to that of a lightweight neo-classicals who felt that to be non-vulgar was not just a requirement but an assurance of value, or of insecure scholars who confuse obscurity with profundity. And it’s just about as annoying.”
3. Capote VS Kerouac
Truman Capote openly panned beat writers, especially Jack Kerouac, on David Susskind’s talk show in 1958, stating: “None of these people have anything interesting to say and none of them can write, not even Mr Kerouac.
His bitterness might have been brought on when Kerouac’s On the Road slowly but surely stole the limelight away from Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
4. Twain VS Austen
No-one could probably hate another writer more than Twain hated Austen. Whilst he didn’t do a Mailer and head butt her, he was never afraid to talk about his disdain for the author, saying, “Any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book”.
He also penned a letter to William Dean Howells that referenced another author, which read, “To me his prose is unreadable – like Jane Austen’s. No there is a difference. I could read his prose on a salary, but not Jane’s. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death”.
If she wasn’t dead, things might have actually turned a little violent, as he once said, “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 skill with her own shin-bone”.
5. King VS Meyer
Both Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer have both written about fantastical beings and creatures. With King penning a plethora of novels based on creepy monsters and supernatural phenomena, whilst Stephenie Meyer is the hand behind the Twilight saga, which features vampires and werewolves. So, why do they hate each other?
Here’s what King had to say about her when comparing Harry Potter to Twilight: “The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn”, and later added, “In the case of Stephanie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books”.
6. Shaw VS Shakespeare
George Bernard Shaw’s plays were most definitely not inspired by the world famous scribe William Shakespeare – hailed as the greatest playwright of all time. Shaw said, “With the exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. The intensity and impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him, knowing as I do how incapable he and his worshippers are of understanding any less obvious form of indignity”.
Shaw hated Shakespeare so much that he even invented the word ‘Bardolatry‘ to express his irritation with the writer and his critical acclaim.
7. Hemingway VS Faulkner
It appears Hemingway and Faulkner had a difference of opinion on what it takes to be a good writer. Faulkner was criticised the novelist by saying that Hemingway “has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary”.
Hemingway offered a rather apt retort, responding with “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
8. King VS Patterson
Not only does Stephen King hate Stephenie Meyer, but he’s also not much of a fan of James Patterson, either, as he said, “I don’t like him, I don’t respect his books because every one is the same”.
Unlike Meyer, Patterson responded to King’s disapproval and said, “Recently Stephen King commented that he doesn’t have any respect for me. Doesn’t make too much sense – I’m a good dad, a nice husband – my only crime is I’ve sold millions of books”.
9. Dickens VS Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen loved Charles Dickens, and claimed to be a big fan of the wordsmith, gushing, “Dickens is one of the most amiable men that I know, and possesses as much heart as intellect.
However, the feeling was most definitely not mutual, as Dickens once said about Andersen, “he speaks no language but his own Danish, and is suspected of not even knowing that”.
Andersen also once a house guest of Dickens; However, instead of staying just one week, as planned, he stayed for five. Once he finally left, Dickens pinned up a note in the guest room that read: “Hans Christian Andersen slept in this room for five weeks – which seems to the family AGES!”
Dickens refused to correspond with Andersen following his stay, and the two writers never crossed paths again.
10. James VS Wells
Henry James and H.G. Wells were once great friends. That was until James once listed chum as one of many authors who he thought were producing “affluents turbid and restrained”. Wells, hurt by the comment, responded by calling his friend a “painfull hippopotamus” and the writers would regularly writer nasty letters to each other.
Would you like to read more about the written word? Take a look at 10 Misconceptions about William Shakespeare.