Books: Frail Fits

THE FINE ART OF LITERARY MAYHEM (242 pp.)—Myrick Land—Half, Rinehart & Winston ($5).

Visitors who dropped in at No. 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris in the 1930s occasionally found Gertrude Stein waving a delicate handkerchief at her dog. "Play Hemingway," she would say. "Be fierce." The dog would growl.

Gertrude Stein's disenchantment with Hemingway touched off a literary brawl between the two that was better publicized than most but considerably tamer than some—as this lucid and witty guide to literary feuding demonstrates. The casual insult. Author Land points out, is not enough to...

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