Literary Feuds

I’ve always loved literary feuds, and now there’s a new one, between Andrew Sullivan and Leon Wieseltier.   Because the two men were once very close friends, their rift seems especially bitter.

I love Andrew Sullivan   because he was a vocal detractor of Mrs. Palin from the very beginning. He is also a Trig Truther, and has taken a lot of shit for it.   Leon Wieseltier, his former mentor, has accused him of being anti-Semitic.

I hope their feud goes on for a while longer, but I hope they make up in the end.   If their feud is too dry and political for you, you might like the Fax Feud between Camille Paglia and Julie Burchill, which degenerates quickly into hilarious name calling. It’s probably my all-time favorite.

Luckily, some literary feuds have been preserved on YouTube, like this one between William Buckley and Gore Vidal, where Buckley flips out and calls Vidal a “queer.”

Years ago, I enjoyed starting feuds in newsgroups, posting under the name “Latasha’P.” They area still search-able via Google groups. I managed to turn the men against the women by constantly referring to My Period. Ah, those were the days.

I’m glad that Feuding hasn’t become a lost art. A good feud is so bracing! I’ve noticed that no matter how provoking or obnoxious Sister Wolf is, no worthwhile feuds have developed. They are not for the timid, I guess. Or maybe   it’s because   everyone knows that deep down, I’m the nicest person on earth!

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15 Responses to Literary Feuds

  1. aaahhh.i know you’re nice. a little evil but honest.

    world peace is so over rated.

  2. Andrew Sullivan, Julie Burchill and Gore Vidal are my team! Ah that was a refreshing mornings read and viewing! I feel as if I could do with a feud, team drag queen and team hooker seems a bit lightweight after such hefty prose.

  3. David Duff says:

    Feud with you, ‘Sis’? I’d rather try and win a Victoria Cross in Afghanistan!

    Talking of feuds, a rather nice one has just erupted between Christopher Hitchins and his previous best friend and mentor, Gore Vidal. Book early, seats are selling fast!

  4. Ann says:

    How was I unaware until now of the feud between Camille Paglia and Julie Burchill?! What a delightful discovery!

    And you couldn’t pay me enough money to initiate or contribute to any sort of feud with you. And it’s not only because I love you, either. It’s also that I’m not a fan of being eviscerated in a public forum and I know damn well I couldn’t hang.

  5. That was a hilarious fax feud. I’ve had misgivings about Camille Paglia since the cover of her Sexual Personae was modeled after her own image–the half Nefertiti/half Emily Dickinson boasted Pagila’s archly raised eyebrow. And why am I not surprised to see Toby Young in the middle of this? Thanks for the humour.

  6. enna. says:

    My personal favorite literary feud is the one between Hemingway and Fitzgerald. So delicious!

  7. Eliza says:

    In my experience gender-baiting is taken seriously and not worth the cheap laughs, even over the internet.

    I’ve enjoyed the fighting between Jonathan Franzen and Ben Marcus because you’re never too pretentious to call someone a cocksucker.

  8. kate says:

    Fashion is too full of idiots for a proper feud–all fashion lovers are willfully idiotic when interacting with their obsession, even when theorizing, talking business, arguing the socioeconomic significance of shifting hemlines. Something about fashion love does seem conducive to a more physical violence, though, but who will ever know if we all continue to compartmentalize behind computer screens.

    FUCK Paglia…for real…that woe-man is a smarmy snoozefest who thinks a stray ball-scratching in the 1980s is the apex of the Greek spirit of democracy, fraternity, and drama. What a sub-Nietzschean sellout. There’s no better way to roundly defeat that dreaded popular feminism than to fashion yourself into a Penis Envy Envoy whose every word rolls from a Viagra-sponsored megaphone to the tuneless tune of “cas-tra-tion anxi-ety,” taking ivory tower to its Freduian extremes and then claiming to be “of the people.” Julie Burchill may be a vulgar indulger as well, but at least she wasn’t so obliviously dualistic. Hell, I’m surprised Paglia didn’t challenge her to a duel (no fencing outfit, just standard black turtleneck and hairgel)…seeing as she so believed in male virtue and valor.

    And Vidal is the glorious cunt that Paglia always wanted to be, but she was never half the woman as he.

  9. Alicia says:

    @kate physical violence for the fashion obsessed is definitely the rule in real life. I’ve seen it. Women fighting over shoes and dresses…the shit is vicious.

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    Denise – xo

    Make Do – I guess Team Hooker is too busy for a war of words. Sad.

    David – Thanks, LOVE it.

    Ann – Oh god, I love you too much to even think of it!!! Staaahp, Bethany!

    Miss Cavendish – Hahahha! Julie really delivered, didn’t she?

    enna – a great one. I’m with team Fitzgerald.

    Eliza – OOOH, I didn’t know about this one, thanks!

    Kate – Brilliant summation, so true. Camille is a lunatic.

    Alicia – I think someone got trampled once at a Harrods sale.

  11. Jenny Dunville says:

    And I just love it that you chose the Goya image for this entry. He was unafraid to visually tackle any emotion/experience.

  12. Mark says:

    I love Julie Burchill. Despite what Camille Paglia thinks, I had heard of and read Julie Burchill.

  13. Good info. I used to spend alot of my time water skiing and playing sports. It was probably the most memorable sequence of my life and your post somehow brought back me of that time. Thank You

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