Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

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 June 6, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Emotional fuckwittage? Jeez

  2. Ainehi Edoro June 6, 2014 at 10:49 am #

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

  3. Gbolahan Badmus June 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    I love your website!!!

  4. Ainehi Edoro June 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Thanks Gbolahan!

  5. MIRA June 11, 2014 at 5:33 am #

    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 June 20, 2014 at 3:02 am #

    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

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Hollywood or Nollywood? As Americanah TV Series Goes to HBO, Actress Stella Damasus Suggests Industry Slight & Chika Unigwe Responds

danai gurira, lupita nyong'o, chimamanda adichie, stella damasus, chika unigwe

The Americanah TV series adaptation, starring Lupita Nyong’o and written by Danai Gurira, has been ordered by HBO Max. The […]

15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa

xenophobia in south africa - photo by guillerme sartori for agence france press and getty images

Once again, this September, xenophobic violence was unleashed on other Africans, mostly Nigerians, in South Africa: businesses were closed, shops […]

Johary Ravaloson’s Return to the Enchanted Island Is the Second Novel from Madagascar to Be Translated into English

johary ravaloson - winds from elsewhere - graph (1)

In May 2018, we brought news of the first novel by a writer from Madagascar to be translated into English: […]

Sundays at Saint Steven’s | Davina Philomena Kawuma | Poetry

unsplash3

when god runs out of money (how, no one says) once a week, these days, we come to where the […]

Read the First Excerpt from Petina Gappah’s New Novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light

petina gappah - out of darkness, shining light - graph

Petina Gappah‘s new novel Out of Darkness, Shining Light was released on 10 September by Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner. […]

We Need To Talk | Muriel Adhiambo | Fiction

unsplash4

IT WAS A warm, humid night in the lakeside city of Kisumu. Under a starless sky, the women, seated on […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.