Authors are no strangers to drama. Once in a while you see someone really explode, throw a fit on twitter over a bad review, attack another author, or something equally distasteful. Occasionally we’ll see a deranged rant on Goodreads or Amazon when an author snaps. Often we see blog posts addressed to “no on in particular” and know that something that someone said must have hit a nerve.
But did you know that authors have been sniping at the public, and at once another, for hundreds of years?
Henry James Jeers at Edgar Allen Poe:
“An enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection.”
Ayn Rand Roasts CS Lewis:
“The lousy bastard who is a pickpocket of concepts, not a thief, which is too big a word for him…”
Mark Twain Targets William Faulkner:
“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.”
HG Wells Wallops George Bernard Shaw:
“An idiot child screaming in a hospital.”
W. H. Auden Antagonizes Robert Browning:
“I don’t think Robert Browning was very good in bed. His wife probably didn’t care for him very much. He snored and had fantasies about twelve-year-old girls.”
So you see, dear readers, these sorts of author shenanigans have been going on for quite some time. That’s not to say it’s ever excusable, it’s not. It NEVER pays to act in some a negative, immature fashion. It alienates readers and other authors. It causes people to put you under lists like “Bad Author Behavior” on Goodreads, and for other people in the industry to log you in their mind as “that crazy writer who flipped out at the reviewer”. Nobody wants to work with someone like that.
But BOY, it sure does make some interesting reading.
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