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Is the Pen Crueler?

abstract:It's been said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but is the pen crueler? Authors may think so, especially when the pen in question is wielded by a reviewer.


May 14, 2003
— Of course, turnabout is fair play...


"Many authors nurture... fantasies of violent revenge on their critics; fortunately relatively few are [sic] galvanised to carry them out. Instead they usually hit back in kind—the pen is [sic] crueller than the silver revolver."


The Guardian Observer's Stephanie Merritt comments on the recent spate of literary attacks between critics and authors. She wonders whether "these current jeremiads are simply the cries of writers who couldn't take a bad review dressed up as a concern for the direction of literary culture."


What do you think? Read the article and join the online discussion.



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