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Everybody’s a critic, right? But seriously, we need to learn to ignore those critical voices in our lives (and in our heads). Case in point? I recently came across this list of the 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults in History.
Check out how outrageous these are:
Ralph Waldo Emerson on Jane Austen
“Miss Austen’s novels . . . seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer . . . is marriageableness.”
William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac
“That’s not writing, that’s typing.” ***
Lord Byron on John Keats (1820)
“Here are Johnny Keats’ piss-a-bed poetry, and three novels by God knows whom… No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don’t I must skin him myself: there is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the Mankin.”
After reading through the entire list, I had just one thought:
Thank GOD that the criticism of others didn’t silence these great writers. Imagine what our world would be if some of our greatest storytellers and thinkers had been silenced? Think of all that we would be missing.
These are some of the greatest voices of modern history and while many of them are criticizing their forefather/mothers and not their peers, I have to wonder how many other great storytellers were silenced by critics who failed to see the value in their art?
My husband got me the Girlmore Girls box set for Christmas and we’ve finally made it into the Logan-era Rory years.
Unfortunately I don’t love the show as much as I thought I remembered loving it.
Seriously, I really, really bothers me that Rory and Lorelei eat like 5,000 calories a day and yet weight six ounces each. Also, Rory has the drippiest personality in the world and it drives me nuts most of the time.
I still hate Logan as much as I did when the show was airing
All that aside (SPOILER ALERT) I was struck by the fragility of Rory’s life long dream to become a journalist. She spent years dreaming, hoping, and working towards becoming a journalist, but it took two minutes of criticism from Logan’s dad to cause her to abandon that dream for fear that he was right–that she wouldn’t make it.
We have all done something like that, haven’t we?
We’ve spent years nurturing a talent or dream, only to have a few careless words caused us to quickly turn tail and step into doing something a little safer and that would be likely to draw less criticism.
Honestly, friends, I think if we’re going to create, we need to protect the fragile nature of dreams and maybe start to expect criticism. Sure we will grow and learn from it, but if someone can speak so poorly about the work of the most influential writers of all time, then shouldn’t we maybe start to take critical and mean words with a grain of sand.
I believe God has a plan for your life, but that he definitely did not put you on this earth to be famous or to be popular.
Not everyone is going to like you! Not everyone is going to believe in you!
We’re all different and if that freaks someone out, tough luck!
That’s totally okay!
Blow those haters a kiss and get back to work!
***Full disclosure: I did laugh at this one.