Tag Archives: Nobel Prize in Literature

Clash of the Literary Titans


Myself

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.”