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The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults In History

5. Evelyn Waugh on Marcel Proust (1948)

“I am reading Proust for the first time. Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective.”

4. Mark Twain on Jane Austen (1898)

“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.”

3. Virginia Woolf on James Joyce

“[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.”

2. William Faulkner on Mark Twain (1922)

“A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.”

1. D.H. Lawrence on James Joyce (1928)

“My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.”

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