Y ou are not yet a true literati until you know how to demean your enemies in well-crafted literary insults. What are literary insults?

The definition is tricky but I’ll try.

You know you’ve received a literary insult when instead of being pissed off, you find yourself impressed at the sheer brilliance of the offender’s diction, word play, imagery — their verbal virtuoso.

Crafting literary insults is a rare skill but only because people never take the time out to learn how to do it. It’s actually quite easy.

Check out these examples we found at guardian.com. Use them as a template and start assembling an arsenal of literary insults for your next cocktail party.

literary-insult-guardian-fielding
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding. Photograph: Ronald Grant

literary-insult-guardian-pratchett

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. Photograph: UK Celebrity/Alamy

literary-insult-guardian-dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

literary-insult-guardian-vonnegut
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features

literary-insult-guardian-christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

Click on to guardian.com for more! HERE.

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

6 Responses to ““May Your Genitals Sprout Wings and Fly Away” — Ouch! 5 Literary Insults You Should Know” Subscribe

  1. Oyin Oludipe 2014/06/06 at 07:32 #

    Emotional fuckwittage? Jeez

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/06/06 at 10:49 #

    Yup! Bridget Jones is a wild one. Love her, though.

  3. Gbolahan Badmus 2014/06/09 at 18:29 #

    I love your website!!!

  4. Ainehi Edoro 2014/06/09 at 18:39 #

    Thanks Gbolahan!

  5. MIRA 2014/06/11 at 05:33 #

    I AM NOT A PARTY TO ANY FORM OF INCOMPETENT ESCAPEES OF PRIMARY ELEMENTS SPEWING OUT DEFECTED VENOM’S OF NO EFFECTUAL SUBSTANCE.

  6. Ikechukwu Nwaogu 2014/06/20 at 03:02 #

    this site is wonderful! i met Ainehi on twitter, and since she told me about it,I’ve not had chance to look it up. Awesome! lemme get back to reading abeg.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

On Fragility and the Dynamics of Gay Love in Fiction | Interview with Arinze Ifeakandu, 2017 Caine Prize Shortlistee | By Ebenezer Agu

1462871_239347839556725_921861327_n

Arinze Ifeakandu is the first writer published by Brittle Paper before his shortlisting to be recognized by the Caine Prize. We […]

An Almost Year for the Caine Prize: 6 Records That Were Not Broken | By Nkiacha Atemnkeng

caine-prize

In 2017, several Caine Prize records almost got broken. But one did get broken. Sixty-five-year-old Sudanese Bushra al-Fadil is the […]

Ngugi’s Tribute to Memory | Review of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Birth of a Dream Weaver | By Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

brittle paper book review (2)

Title: Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer’s Awakening Author: Ngugi wa Thiong’o Publisher: The New Press Year: 2016 Where […]

A Tenderer Blessing | By Otosirieze Obi-Young | Fiction

otosirieze

  THE university campus in Nsukka was full of ixora, and it was beside one of the trimmed hedges in […]

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing Is Mandatory Reading for Stanford University Freshers

gyasi

Yaa Gyasi’s multigenerational novel Homegoing is now mandatory reading for freshers at her alma mater, Stanford University. The heavy-hitting first […]

EVENT: Afridiaspora Magazine to Host Zukiswa Wanner in New York

19274925_1741553775885064_3877978663455674504_n

A few days after the African Literature Association (ALA) Festival at Yale University, another event is upon us. Afridiaspora magazine […]