If you’re an author, do THIS at your own risk!

Like This!

Mark Twain

My apologies for sounding like Alex Trebek. The answer (or question, in this case) is that when you’re an author, be VERY careful about other authors discussing how they feel about your work.

I was referred to this great article from examiner.com, courtesy of Michelle Kerns, accessible here, entitled “The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time”.

I laughed out loud at some of them. I’ll quote some of my favorites.

9. J.K. Rowling, according to Harold Bloom (2000)

How to read ‘Harry Potter and the Sorceror’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.

10. Oscar Wilde, according to Noel Coward (1946)

Am reading more of Oscar Wilde. What a tiresome, affected sod.

12. John Milton’s Paradise Lost, according to Samuel Johnson

‘Paradise Lost’ is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is.

19. John Steinbeck, according to James Gould Cozzens (1957)

I can’t read ten pages of Steinbeck without throwing up. I couldn’t read the proletariat crap that came out in the ’30s.

26. Marcel Proust, according to Evelyn Waugh (1948)

I am reading Proust for the first time. Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective.

27. William Faulkner, according to Ernest Hemingway

Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes — and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one.

31. Jane Austen, according to Mark Twain (1898)

I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.

36. William Shakespeare, according to George Bernard Shaw (1896)

With the exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him, knowing as I do how incapable he and his worshippers are of understanding any less obvious form of indignity.

50. Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full, according to Norman Mailer (1998)

The book has gas and runs out of gas, fills up again, goes dry. It is a 742-page work that reads as if it is fifteen hundred pages long….

At certain points, reading the work can even be said to resemble the act of making love to a three-hundred pound woman. Once she gets on top, it’s over. Fall in love, or be asphyxiated. So you read and you grab and you even find delight in some of these mounds of material. Yet all the while you resist — how you resist! — letting three hundred pounds take you over.

The last three are my absolute favorites. I would very much advise that you click on the link at the top to check out the rest of them. So many of these are just brutal. Apparently there is no honor among authors.

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Site of the Week: Criggo

Criggo

I would imagine that all of my Facebook friends know that I love posting photos, comic strips, and any other sort of image that I find amusing. I found the site via a tweet from Grammar Girl, so you may credit her if you like the site.

As the heading of the site says, “Newspapers are going away. That’s too bad”. Newspapers are full of hilarious photos that don’t come out as intended, typos, and other chuckle-worthy errors, and Criggo is chock full of them.

Some examples:

If you aren’t slapping your thigh yet, or haven’t ‘hyuk’ed out loud, you either haven’t been reading these, or are post-lobotomy. (Apologies to anyone who has had a lobotomy.)

Endless fun can be found as this week’s site of the week: Criggo

Today, on April 30, 1789 it was a beautiful spring day…

The day started with a thirteen gun salute before dawn.

Throngs of people had gathered in Lower Manhattan.

People were screaming and cheering from every window and roof in the area.

General George Washington was brought to the inauguration in a four-horse coach.

Chancellor Robert Livingston swore him in.

Washington kissed the Bible, and said “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, after which he spontaneously said “So help me God”, starting a tradition kept ever since.

Livingston proclaimed aloud “Long live President George Washington!”.

What a site it must have been to watch the first president of our nation being sworn in. I can visit the site, a mere two blocks from my office, but will never be able to witness the grandeur of that day.

Site of the Week: the “blog” of “unneccesary” quotation marks

the blog of unnecessary quotation marks

Just looking at the name of the blog makes me shudder. Apparently, there is nasty habit of people using quotation marks for emphasis. This scourge has become very common, and this week’s site has done a lot of good work chronicling the offenses committed.

As an example:

There are many rules as to the proper usage of quotation marks. I shall not paste the entire page from grammarbook.com, but I shall link you in case you want a refresher course.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I hope you can enjoy the site for all of its “unnecessary” quotation marks.

This week’s site of the week: the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks