5 Trash-Talking Letters Between Writers
Hello! I hope you are well.
I imagine you share my interest in letters between writers. Recently, I took a closer look at such correspondence and was surprised to find a significant amount of trash-talk among authors' hand- and type-written pages. From subtle burns to scathing critiques, here are a few choice examples of writers telling their contemporaries how they really feel.
Who has time for you?
Who the hell is this Joyce who demands so many waking hours of the few thousand I have still to live for a proper appreciation of his quirks and fancies and flashes of rendering?
1928 | read more
I did it first. And better.
1949 | read more
You are finished.
Enjoy your dirty money. You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished.
1970 | read more
You won't get away with this.
I want that Thinkpiece on my desk by Labor Day. And I want it ready for press. The time has come & gone when cheapjack scum like you can get away with the kind of scams you got rich from in the past.
1973 | read more
(Just about the) Worst. Comic book. Ever.
You were just about the World's worst mag when you started, but you set yourself an ideal, and, by gumbo, you achieved it!
1963 | read more
Oops! It looks like that George R.R. Martin line—written when he was a 15-year-old fan of Fantastic Four—actually turns out to be a compliment.
(Don't you love happy endings? I do.)
P.S. – Click on any writer's name above to explore their work in The New York Public Library's catalog. Don't have a library card? Apply for one online or in person at one of 92 NYPL locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
P.P.S. – If you're a serious correspondence fanatic, you can find the Capote/Burroughs letter in NYPL's Berg Collection.