10 Notorious Literary Spats

Norman Mailer vs. Gore Vidal

In 1971, Mailer and Vidal duked it out on The Dick Cavett Show, with Janet Flanner (aka Genet) weighing in periodically. Mailer to Vidal: “I’ve had to smell your works from time to time and that has made me an expert in intellectual pollution.” Dick Cavett later asks, “Perhaps you’d like two chairs to contain your giant intellect?”