Clash of the Literary Titans


By T. V. Antony Raj


William Faulkner (1897–1962) and Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), both winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, carried on a refined and complex literary rivalry.

At times, they shared professional respect; at other times, each thought himself the superior craftsman and spoke disparagingly of the other. Faulkner thought Hemingway’s stripped-back prose was too simple and unadventurous.

William Faulkner once said: “You (Ernest Hemingway) had no courage, never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Hemingway replied: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.

Did you read his last book?” he continued. “It’s all sauce-writing now, but he was good once. Before the sauce, or when he knew to handle it.”

The sister-in-law!


By T. V. Antony Raj

The drunkard’s wife was ever trying to find devious ways to cure him of his evil habit.

One day, as usual, the husband came home drunk and fell on the floor. The wife after transforming herself into a ghost by dusting her face with ash and powdered charcoal went into the hall and shook her husband who was in a drunken stupor.

“Whoosh that?” grumbled the drunkard.

“I am the devil,” the wife answered in a resonating funereal tone.

The husband blinked at her and said, “How are you, dear sister-in-law? You are more beautiful than my wife!”