Take the gloves off

There are few feuds more entertaining than those between
authors and authors, authors and critics. For one thing,
generally the quality of writing is high, so the insults are
particularly vicious. Take this letter by Caleb Carr to one
of his critics from Salon.com. Man. That's some real heat.
Not too different, I guess, from rap wars, like that between
Jay Z and Nas
. Some other entertaining feuds:
Tom Wolfe versus John Updike/Norman Mailer/John Irving
Salman Rushdie versus John Le Carre
Paul Theroux vs V.S. Naipaul
Writers are generally arrogant, highly insecure.
The thing with Google and the web these days--some topic
strikes your mind, you can always find some article about
on the web. It's damn hard being original these days.
These feuds and rivalries--I enjoy following them. I'd like
to think I don't enjoy actually participating in them, being
the generally peaceful guy I am. But, over the years, I've
started to realize that you're probably not living a life worth
living unless you're offending someone somewhere. As long
as you're aggravating the right people, you're probably
doing a good thing. I sense some more conflict in my
future this year. My sleeves are rolled up.