From a letter of G. Mittag-Leffler to Sofia Kovalewski, Helsingfors, June 5 1884:
...What can I say, I've got a pretty pleasant deputy. He claims, in private conversations, as well as publicly, that Function Theory is a strange subject, a secondary variety of the large mainstream mathematics (=Fiedler geometry and Schwarz minimal surfaces), and that it still has some historical justification here, and that's why one has to tolerate a person like Mellin (he was just appointed a docent by the way), but one cannot permit more of this kind of function theorists here in Finland. About you he repeates the old joke of Schwarz that...
...Unfortunately for Neovius, my position here is still firm enough, that it is he, rather than function theory, suffers from this nonsense.
1. This is my translation from a Russian translation from the Swedish original.
2. Neovius, who was a student of H. A. Schwarz is considered the first Finnish mathematician. Brothers Nevanlinna were apparently his nefews; their father changed his name from Neovius (Sweedish) to Nevanlinna (Finnish) when they were young.
Another citation, from the letter of Weierstrass to S. Kowalevski, Berlin, 24 Marz 1885:
...Wenn ein wunderlicher Kauz, wie Christoffel sagt, in 20 bis 30 Jahren wird die jetzige Funktionentheorie zu Grabe getragen und die ganze Analysis in die Theorie der Formen sufgegangen sein, so beantwortet man das mit einem Achselzucken.
My translation: When this strange fellow Christoffel says that in 20 or 30 years the current Function Theory will be buried, and the whole Analysis will merge into the theory of forms, we can only answer this with a srhug.