The first two hundred pages of Ulysses
... never have I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters we will let them pass, but the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th - merely the scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges.
- Virginia Woolf
Gibbon's style is detestable, but it is not the worst thing about him.
Monsieur Zola is determined to show us that if he has not genius he can at least be dull.
- Oscar Wilde
To see him fumbling with our rich and delicate language is to experience all the horror of seeing a Sevrès vase in the hands of a chimpanzee.
- Evelyn Waugh on Stephen Spender
His imagination resembled the wings of an ostrich. It enabled him to run, but not to soar.
- Macaulay on Dryden
You know I can't stand Shakespeare's plays, but yours are even worse.
- Tolstoy to Chekhov
If Goethe is a god, I am sure I'd rather go to the other place.