About Writers, blogging, Uncategorized

Writers Criticizing Writers

A short whimsy

Vidal of Capote
“He’s a full-fledged housewife from Kansas with all the prejudices.”

Mailer, of a competitor
“He said she was beautiful because he couldn’t make her so.”

Capote of Kerouac
“That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Nietzsche of Dante
“A hyena that wrote poetry on tombs.”

Faulkner of Hemingway
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Hemingway of Faulkner
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Wilde of Pope
“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.”

Auden of Browning (my favorite here)
“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.”

And, for Atthys, James Tiptree of Alice Sheldon (or, vice versa)
“The trouble was, you see, I was just good enough to understand the difference between my talent and that rare thing, real ability. It was as though I had climbed the foothills high enough to see the snow-clad peaks beyond, which I could never scale.”

Got a favorite? Please add it to the comments 🙂


18 thoughts on “Writers Criticizing Writers

  1. atthysgage says:

    Just to pile on Hemingway : “I read him for the first time in the early Forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.” — Vladimir Nabokov

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      Hey, Atthys, I found Tiptree’s letter to friends admitting that she is Alice Sheldon, titled “Everything but the Signature is Me.” I’m still questing old booksellers around town for her other works. I may have started a collection 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GD Deckard says:

    Atthys, your mention of Tiptree was the first I’d heard.

    After listening to me talk (once again) about something I knew too little about to be of interest to her, my Lady surprised me with a brand new copy of “The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1,” (copyright 2005 by the James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award Council. There were two volumes.)

    Apparently, Tiptree first came out to her editor, Jeff Smith and to her friend, Ursula Le Guin. “Everything but the Signature is Me” was first published in Khatru 7, February 1978. It is a personal, charming and delightful letter to Jeff Smith that begins:

    “How great. At last it’s out, and you’re the first to know, as I promised long ago you would – although I didn’t expect it to happen through your own initiative. But at least you’re the first I can write to in my own persona.
    Yeah. Alice Sheldon. Five-feet-eight, sixty-one years, remains of a good looking girl vaguely visible, grins a lot in a depressed way, very active in spurts.”

    I especially liked what she said of her husband, “Ting (short for Huntington, my very nice more aged husband of thirty years who doesn’t read what I write but is happy I’m having fun….”

    Thanks for introducing us, Atthys. I like James Alice Sheldon Tiptree, Jr.!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atthysgage says:

    That looks like a nice anthology. (Joanna Russ was a spectacular writer.) I knew about the Tiptree Award, of course, but never thought to look up an related anthologies. She lived a fascinating life. Her biography is a good read, too. Carl Read (wherever he may be) recommended it to me.

    I was just rereading a couple of her stories the other day (spur of the moment thing) and I was impressed at just how original and competent she was right from the start (not that she was young when she started writing.) Two of her earliest stories about alien invasions of earth, ‘Mamma Come Home’ and ‘Help’ (also known as ‘Pupa Knows Best’) are both subtly subversive and outlandishly funny. I’ve been thinking about doing an in-depth study of both stories (they are linked), strictly for my own entertainment. Not that it wouldn’t be a big seller on the open market, but I’m too modest to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GD Deckard says:

      Well, you could publish your study exclusively on the Writers Co-op.
      We could start a scholarly section. I just finished a piece on Enheduanna that would fit there.


  4. mimispeike says:

    Who or what is Enheduanna? I like the sound of it, whatever it is.

    I am concerned that we get so little traffic here. We have a lot of good stuff, but I fear that people don’t see it, don’t have the will, or the patience, to dig. There are writers on Facebook, mainly pushing their books: Read this! It’s great. Exciting. Short. Easy. (Easy is never the way to attract me.) And so on.

    There are, of course, the folks on Book Country, a new crop of hopefuls, and way too much of that round-and-round-and-going-nowhere. Our site has more meat to it, thanks to our small group. (And where the hell is Carl?)

    I am going to start experimenting on my WordPress site. I have chosen a format called Hive, which is a front page, three columns of teaser headlines/opening remarks that link to the full piece on a behind page. (The look kind of like HuffPo before they redesigned it.)

    I’ll try it out for a different approach, more mobile-device friendly than what I’ve constructed on Wix (that I do, however, love), and I’ll also set up a writer coop variation, just to see what I get out of it.

    If I don’t do it, who will?

    Liked by 1 person

    • GD Deckard says:

      ROFL is ‘Net speak for Rolling On Floor Laughing. It’s meant to indicate greater amusement than LOL (Laughing Out Loud.)
      ROFLMAO means Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ass Off.
      Aren’t you glad you asked 🙂

      Oh, and I guess I will post my piece on Enheduanna now that you’ve asked about her.


  5. mimispeike says:

    Facebook is good for a laugh. Posted by the author:

    “Once again S________ S_______ has written a book that will tug at your heart. Our hero, Keith, is really a good guy but he has been on the wrong path – partying, drinking, womanizing- yet this leaves him empty inside. Our heroine Maggie is poor financially, yet rich in the ways that really matter.

    I won’t recreate the whole story (thank God) but suffice it to say that it is a Cinderella tale that will draw you in (I doubt it), bring you to tears (ditto), take you to the edge of your seat wondering if their HEA is really going to come, and then leave you sighing (dream on, lady) and just wanting to take some time to absorb it all. Besides sweet romance, there are deep lessons about faith and forgiveness (is there a lesson about forgiving drivel?). Also about accepting loved ones as they really are and not what you want them to be. Beautiful story that I HIGHLY recommend!” (Of course she does, it’s her own book.)

    A #1 Christian Romance Best Seller! (The rosette-turd icing on the poop pile cake.)

    GMWAS! – I just made that up. Maybe it’s already in use. (Gag me with a spoon.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      ‘Tis brazen, but I gotta wonder whether she gets results. You could reach out to her, tell her you’re with Writers Co-op & that we evaluate marketing methods in terms of book sales & ask her for a frank report on her sales results. Maybe she’s more than an ego.

      Oh, and uh… I’m pretty sure GMWAS is pure Mimism. But I like it 🙂 You know, GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike.)


  6. mimispeike says:

    You’ve given me an idea. I’m going to expand my intended piece on Jim Meirose’s restrained (seemingly solidly-successful/very impressive) self-promotion to include other strategies, including the My book is wonderful! You’re gonna love it! way.

    I doubt that Meirose will answer my inquiries, but these other folks may be overjoyed to get the attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: In Case You Missed It | writers co-op

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