In the humorous piece 'When Titans Clash: The James Joyce/Gertrude Stein Feud', Eric Metaxas elaborates on a few incidents that certainly would have contributed to the decline of any friendship between Gertrude Stein and James Joyce, if such a friendship had indeed existed in the first place:
Stein confided in Joyce that she had composed most of the poems in her book Tenderbuttons while “on a sugar high you would not believe.” On hearing this, Joyce immediately pinched Stein’s abdomen, saying that from the general look of things she had been eating lots of sugar lately, hadn’t she?
Undoubtedly, such a feud would not have been aided by either Stein's dislike of father figures -- especially the type that might pull her up on an overindulgent sweet tooth -- or her inclination to favourably compare her work to Joyce's Ulysses -- a sentiment that the majority of critics did not seem to share. In an offering entitled 'Simpering at the Interstices of Envy', Edmond Caldwell concludes that feelings of jealousy were at play in the ill-feeling between Stein and Joyce, but that such sentiments were expressed by Stein only: '“But who came first,” she wrote, “Gertrude Stein or James Joyce? Do not forget that my first great book, Three Lives, was published in 1908. That was long before Ulysses” (qtd in Ellmann, James Joyce).' Joyce, on the other hand, merely stooped to the more general admission: “I hate intellectual women.”