It has been a bad week for men of letters, with the loss of Gore Vidal a few days ago and Robert Hughes today.
Gore was famous for his feuds, but Hughes, a Spectator contributor, had a softer side, unless your art was phony:
‘The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize.’
And the man once dubbed the ‘greatest art critic in the world’ was certainly sure of himself. Bret Easton Ellis recalls:
‘The only time I came in contact with Robert Hughes was in 1991 when he threatened to leave Random House if they published American Psycho.’