I really enjoyed the slideshow at the Melville House blog on writers attacking other writers.
And I was chuffed to discover there another nod to the title of this blog (whose derivation you can familiarise yourself with here ):
Elizabeth Bishop’s oft-quoted put-down of J.D. Salinger — make that oft-mis-quoted — may be all the more withering for being made privately and off-hand. In a letter to Robert Lowell, she made a passing comment on Seymour: An Introduction (not Catcher in the Rye, as is usually claimed): “I HATED the Salinger story. It took me days to go through it, gingerly, a page at a time, and blushing with embarrassment for him every ridiculous sentence of the way. How can they let him do it?”
What is it she disliked so much about it? Perhaps it was that Salinger had his character write poetry. As is rarely quoted, Bishop’s comment went on: “Perhaps Seymour isn’t supposed to be anything out of the ordinary, nor his poems either, so that all that writhing and reeling is to show the average man trying to express his love for his brother, or brotherly love? Well, Henry James did it much better in one or two long sentences.”
But it gets better. While looking for a quick link to Alice, I found this. A treely ruly live university course in...
Taught by Michael Hulse at the University of Warwick, EN273 Reeling and Writhing is described on the university website as a "hybrid module... combining intertextual scholarship with poet-to-poet skills...described in student feedback (2011) as “bloody brilliant”."
I will have to update my About Page, Ninety-Nine, our lives may depend upon it.