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William Faulkner to Ernest Hemingway
These two authors couldn't have had more disparate backgrounds, proclivities, temperaments, or writing styles, so you'd think that maybe, rather than disparaging each other, they could just accept the fact that, well, different strokes for different folks. You'd be wrong though, because, just like everyone else, writers like to pick on those who are different from them and yet wildly successful. While there was a great deal of enmity between the two men, though, they did have a grudging admiration for one another, Hemingway once wrote of Faulkner, "How beautifully he can write and as simple and as complicated as autumn or as spring." But enough with the compliments! On to the insults. The following is a barbed exchange between Faulkner and Hemingway. I like to imagine that each insult was followed by one of their friends exclaiming "Oh snap!" but that probably didn't happen.
Faulkner wrote of Hemingway: "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
And the response? "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"