Literary Rivalries Revisited

March 20, 2019

For the Guardian, Lulah Ellender reflects on her own (imagined) literary rivalries and looks at famous competitive pairs throughout history, including Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, Gore Vidal and Truman Capote, and Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. “In classical stories of rivalry, revenge is enacted violently, often ending with a morally justified death. In the literary world things don’t usually get that far,” Ellender notes, “though Richard Ford shot a hole through one of Alice Hoffman’s books after she gave him a bad review, and Marcel Proust and Jean Lorrain had an actual duel.”

Image credit: Lloyd Arnold / Van Vechten Collection

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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