music

Franz Liszt

He writes the ugliest music extant.

Claude Debussy

Rhythm, melody, tonality, these are three things unknown to Monsieur Debussy and deliberately disdained by him. His music is vague, floating, without color and without shape …

Richard Wagner

I do not believe that a single composition of Wagner will survive him.

Frédéric Chopin

The entire works of Chopin present a motley surface of ranting hyperbole and excruciating cacophany.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

… a musical monster … ear-flaying horror.

George Gershwin

Weep over the lifelessness of the melody and harmony, so derivative, so stale, so inexpressive!

Nina Simone

Her “penchant for the mundane renders her intensity as bogus as her mannered melismas” … a “middlebrow keyboard tickler”

Led Zeppelin

"... weak, unimaginative songs ... very dull"

Taylor Swift

"... she’s a terrible singer."

Beyoncé

"She′s no Ashanti"

Nick Drake

Singer-songwriter Nick Drake released three albums before dying from an overdose of antidepressants. He was 26.

Mozart

Imagine being so gifted that at only six years old, you suit up in your fanciest wig and breeches to perform for the imperial court in Vienna.

Jan Terri

Seems like thick-skinned-ness is unevenly distributed among humans. The fact that you’re reading this likely means that you’re vulnerable to taking criticism personally*.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Da da da dummmmm.

Jimi Hendrix

"inartistically violent ..."

literature

Ida B. Wells

… a slanderous and nasty-minded mulatress.

Oscar Wilde

Caricatured as a monkey on the cover of Harper’s Weekly Referred to as an ‘animal’ by the National Republican “Unclean … poisonous,” “nasty … nauseous” (The London Daily Chronicle and...

Madeleine L'Engle

Published half a dozen novels to low sales and lukewarm reception Decided to quit writing at age 40 A Wrinkle In Time was rejected by 26 publishers

Evelyn Waugh

"Too British"

Emily Dickinson

"an eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse"

Jane Austen

"I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

acting

Fred Astaire

Can't act; slightly bald; can dance a little.

Jim Carrey

"So obnoxious ... appallingly bad."

science

Albert Einstein

I feel as if I had been wandering with Alice in Wonderland and had tea with the Mad Hatter.

Louis Pasteur

It is absurd to think that germs causing fermentation and putrefaction came from the air; the atmosphere would have to be as thick as pea soup for that.

Galileo Galilei

[If the earth rotated,] buildings and the earth itself would fly off with such rapid motion that men would have to be provided with claws like cats to enable them...

Ignaz Semmelweiss

Mocked by the medical community for his advocacy of hand washing Institutionalized after a nervous breakdown Beaten by asylum guards and died 2 weeks later

Oleg Losev

Discovered LED technology. Died of starvation.

Trota of Salerno

The year is 1138.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, were awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics in recognition of their research into radioactivity.

philosophy

Socrates

You’ve probably heard of Socrates, whether as a result of the dialectic teaching method named after him, or the outsized influence he’s had on philosophers from Plato to present day,...

art

Claude Monet

A preliminary drawing for a wallpaper pattern is more finished than this seascape.

LeRoy Neiman

"The archetypical hack"

Vincent van Gogh

Created several hundred $MM worth of art; sold enough to pay a few months' rent

poetry

Emily Dickinson

"an eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse"

dance

Fred Astaire

Can't act; slightly bald; can dance a little.