Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pre-Vacation Vacation, and Rejection Humor

I didn't post anything last week. This is my quiet time before my vacation, which starts next week. I need a break before my hols. I need to unwind in preparation for them. It's all very well to say that's what the vacation is for, but it doesn't work that way for me.

Away-Vacations can be tiring. I prefer sleeping in my own room, especially with my own pillow. I have a quirk about pillows. The not-always-enthusiastic early jumping out of bed to go and see something (usually something quite old) doesn't happen at home, either, nor do I have to visit people out of duty. That's what living in the country without a car is all about. I won't even dwell on the stress of airports, planes, and jet lag, as that's a given.

Anyway, this is my pre-vacation quiet time. Don't expect too much from me.

I came across this agent-related article that perhaps you'll find equally amusing, bemusing. Times have changed in Agent-Land over recent decades - we all knew that - but here's the proof. I haven't read anything by Stanley Middleton, and the Booker awards can be alarmingly disappointing, but let's take the view that Mr Middleton wasn't a bad writer, and certainly more than worthy of publication, to say the least. This cheeky test by the Times of London, then, was a bit embarrassing, surely. Or perhaps Mr Middleton's writing was just too good, perhaps there was no fantasy, no vampire, no sex or violence, no teen protagonist? I must be a literary snob, because I still like to read books that include none of those things, from time to time. Carbon-dating myself, perhaps...

The following is a famous Chinese rejection letter to a writer. Perhaps you've read it before. In any case, it's always good for a smile, and the style of writing will make you slow down your internet-skimming brain just for a moment, like a bit of meditation, almost.

"We have read your manuscript with boundless delight. If we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in the next thousand years we shall see its equal, we are, to our regret, compelled to return your divine composition, and to beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity."

Now you know why those rejections are still coming.

1 comment:

Helen Ginger said...

Love that rejection letter. It is so sweet in its utter contempt for the submission.

I hope you have fun on your vacation!

Helen
Straight From Hel