When you think of some of the most iconic and celebrated authors of all-time— Ernest Hemingway, H.G. Wells, Gertrude Stein — the first thing that comes to mind is probably not their personal lives. But seeing behind the scenes of some of these luminaries can not only be interesting and creatively inspiring, it can be entertainingly scandalous. At least, that's what this video from Signature Views will make apparent, as it examines the Top 5 Greatest Author Feuds of all time. Of course, creatives are often stereotyped as fiery, passionate, volatile, and narcissistic, but you'll never see all of the above more perfectly illustrated than when two authors are clapping back at each other.
The video delves into the sometimes years-long, often unresolved feuds between authors like Hemingway and William Faulkner... and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein — honestly, I'm surprised that the legendarily prickly Hemingway is only on the list twice. These icons fight about everything from story ideas and sentence structure to seemingly personal vendettas, with some even including lawsuits, publicity stunts and ending in fisticuffs during public forums. You can check out the video below for all of the fascinating sordid details.
Sure, many of these feuds seem slightly ridiculous. Did Norman Mailer really have to head butt Gore Vidal for giving him a bad review? And was Hemingway's distaste for Stein's coined term "The Lost Generation" really worth the lifelong battle of words that ensued? I suppose that's all down to personal opinion. But it is sort of gratifying to know that even the most successful and brilliant among us can't help but get pulled into a little (or, in these cases, historical) tiff every now and again.
And if you've ever been on the hunt for the best possible burns to use in your own battles, you can't find anything better than these literary inspired ones. I mean, just try to resist calling out your frenemie for their lies by quoting Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie including 'and' and 'the.'" Talk about absolutely SAVAGE. Of course, the next time you pick up The Sun Also Rises or The Time Machine, I bet you won't be able to keep yourself from laughing at the relatable real-life drama of the authors, but who says feeling closer to these famous wordsmiths is a bad thing?