Virginia Woolf on James Joyce: [Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.
Harold Bloom on J.K. Rowling: How to read ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do.
H. G. Wells on George Bernard Shaw: An idiot child screaming in a hospital.
Ralph Waldo Emerson on Jane Austen: Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world.
William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway: He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner: Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
W. H. Auden on 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.
Mark Twain on Jane Austen: Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.