When famous writers feud
Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald are not the only literary friends to see their relationship go cold. Indeed, the history of literature is a history of betrayals, of writers turning on each other and collaborations falling apart. Below, we give you five other failed literary friendships and feuds.
Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Melville and Hawthorne were friends for only a couple of years, from 1850, when they met, until 1852, when they stopped corresponding. As to why this was, one possible reason is Hawthorne’s inability to get Melville a job with the U.S. government, which, notes the website “The Life and Works of Herman Melville,” left the " Moby-Dick” author“embarrassed and chagrined.”
Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Ivan Turgenev
There was no love lost among these three 19th century Russian giants, despite the fact that they had much in common, aesthetically and politically. According to a 2008 piece in Salon magazine, they spent many years sniping (Dostoevsky satirized Turgenev in his novel “The Possessed”) -- an enmity that came to a head in 1861 when Tolstoy challenged Turgenev to a duel.
Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine
The French poets met in 1871 and became lovers; within a year or so, the relationship grew fraught. In 1873, they reunited in Brussels, but it took only two days before Verlaine bought a gun and got drunk and shot Rimbaud in the wrist. Verlaine was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to a two-year prison term.
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg
Even in the early days of their relationship, there was an undertone of suspicion on Kerouac’s part; in a 1952 letter, he wrote that Ginsberg should “leave me alone . . . & dont ever darken me again.” But in the 1960s, after Kerouac rejected the counterculture that he and Ginsberg had helped create, things turned truly virulent, with the “On the Road” writer veering into anti-Semitism to denigrate his onetime friend.
Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez
In what the Times of London has called “possibly the most famous literary feud of modern times,” these two Latin American novelists, who were at one time close, spent more than 30 years not speaking before Vargas Llosa wrote a prologue for the 40th anniversary edition of García Márquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” The reason for the feud? Reportedly, it had to do with advice García Márquez gave Vargas Llosa’s wife -- to divorce her husband after he had taken up with another woman.
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