Literary Feuds: Faulkner and Hemingway

atkins-bookshelf-literatureLegendary writers William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway had one thing in common — both found solace in a bottle of booze; however they had a strong difference of opinion regarding diction. A sober Faulkner had this to say about Hemingway: “[He] had never been known to use a word that might send the reader to the dictionary.” Of course, Hemingway was not going to let that barb go unchallenged. “Poor Faulkner,” responded Hemingway, “Does he think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.” Touché! Once again, this battle of the words supports the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Read related posts: William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
Daily Rituals of Writers: William Faulkner
William Faulkner on Sanctuary

For further reading: Literary Miscellany by Alex Palmer (2010)

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