Mark Twain had a very low opinion about Jane Austen and her books. According to the great American man of letters, Jane Austen was entirely impossible to read, and he could not do so even if was paid big money. Her books, wrote Twain, maddened him so much that he could not conceal his frenzy. He confessed that he liked to reread Jane Austen’s novels just so that he could hate them all over again.
In the letter to Twain’s closest friend, writer Joseph Twichell, the writer complained that every time he read “Pride and Prejudice” he wanted “to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
We can only guess whether Jane Austen’s fiction was indeed so infuriating for Twain or something else had come between those two.
Ernest Hemingway seemed to feud with most of the prominent artists of his time, from Max Eastman to Orson Welles to F. Scott Fitzgerald. In his 1961 obituary published in The New York Times, this admirer of adventurous lifestyle wrote that James Joyce was an idiot and that his book (the famous novel “Ulysses”) would do a big harm to the country. He also expressed a wish that Joyce would commit suicide. It must be said that these two were close friends, and once Hemingway had even fought for Joyce.
Unlike Hemingway, Gustav Flaubert decided not to be wordy and called his colleague George Sand “a great cow full of ink.”
Vladimir Nabokov simply hated everyone.