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Literary feuds: Typewriters at dawn


Noam Chomsky has responded irritably to John Gray's poor review of his latest book, claiming "The stunning irrationality of [Gray's] inferences renders comment superfluous". Here's a recent history of other literary handbags:

Alain de Botton, to Caleb Crain of The New York Times, who criticised de Botton's, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (2009) "I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make."

Martin Amis, regarding a reviewer of Yellow Dog "Tibor Fischer is a creep and a wretch. Oh yeah: and a fat-arse."

Niall Ferguson, following a review of his book Civilization by Pankaj Mishra (2011) "If he won't apologise for calling me a racist, I will persecute him until he does... it seems to be becoming de rigueur for mediocrities to build their fame on attacking those more successful than them."

Alice Hoffman, who tweeted in anger 27 times following a review of her novel The Story Sisters in The Boston Globe (2009) "Roberta Silman in the Boston Globe is a moron. How do some people get to review books?... Now any idiot can be a critic."

Ayelet Waldman, wife of Michael Chabon, tweeting about negative reviews for her husband's book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (2011) "To the fucking MORON Amazon reviewers giving Awesome Man 1 star [because] 'It would be good for, like, a 2 year old' IT WAS WRITTEN FOR LITTLE KIDS"