Saturday, November 10, 2007

Scathing Review


Amy Sterling Casil, over at the blog incipit vita nova, really doesn't like my little Literary Rejections on Display project, or my attitude apparently. Check out her post from November 1oth, entitled The Angry Slush, in which she accuses me of faking my bio and being cheap, among other things. Disclosure: I am using the above photo from her blog as a tribute to her anger, which is very healthy and alive and quite admirable. Also it's such a good picture I couldn't resist, and anyway she's already very, very angry at me. I left a comment replying to her post, which she may or may not publish. But I hope she does because Jim Van Pelt and I really did work out our differences, even if she doesn't think so.

11 comments:

Amy Sterling Casil said...

Um. I don't know how you could get "angry" out of anything I said except the title and term "Angry Slush" - which isn't my invention, it's one I've heard from editors. Sometimes they say "Nutty Slush" or even "Crazy Slush." But I guess I am a little ticked now to see that you implied I wouldn't approve your (rather different from this) comment on my blog, which I did when I saw it, and that you'd write something so different here, and that you'd take Ernest Lilley's photo of the actual "slush pile" at Tor Books without credit to him and imply something totally different, like it was an angry picture or something. Which it wasn't and isn't. It's just a picture showing how much they had at that time (5 years ago).

I haven't perused your site beyond Jim's article and the one about T.C. Boyle, and maybe you do have egregious rejection letters and they certainly do exist. And there's no more excuse or reason for them than there is to complain about "normal" rejection letters.

But surely you understand that I'd question your anonymous status if this is a mission of yours. If people (oh, say, editors and agents) knew who you were - might that cause some distress upon receiving correspondence from you? I think it might, and that was my opinion upon seeing this site. That you are certainly aware of both sides of the fence and are not anonymous for "general purpose" or some other concept of "fairness."

the individual voice said...

Well, I read the article and can vouch for its angry content. First of all, the fact that editors refer to humans who submit manuscripts by shorthand like "An Angry Slush" or "A Crazy Slush" speaks to the dehumanization that I witnessed as a young naive college graduate reading slush piles and feeling sorry for the People and so becoming a therapist instead. I didn't have the stomach for the "business." But those terms will certainly enrich the authenticity of my Nanowrimo Novel "The Despicable Slush Pile OutSourcing Conspiracy." So thanks, Amy. Aunthenticity is always appreciated by readers of never-to-be-caught-dead-in-a-slush-pile, or for that matter even published book. FYI, Amy, condescension is a form of passive-aggressive anger and I couldn't help laughing at your debasing of writer, rejected's "credentials" because he uses a free blogging service like "blogger". Is that now like going to a community college instead of Harvard? Hey, I use blogger and went to Harvard. The blogosphere does not work along the familiar social status hierarchies of the publishing world. It is anarchy. It is the publishing world's worst nightmare. Thus paniced books like Sven Birkerts The Gutenberg Elegies which worry about the end of publishers like you due to bloggers like us (though I have been "published" too, I'd say lots more have read me as a blogger, who may eventually come out of "anonymity." I'm toying with it.
So, Amy, own your own anger. Think about why WR makes you so angry. And don't assume that all his readers are Angry and Crazy Slushes. We're not. We could be your best friend. Feel bitter. I mean better. Condescension is the form of anger that editors excel in. I'm sure it has negative health effects. Get a sense of humor. That is REALLY what this is all about.

Amy Sterling Casil said...

Hmn. You can vouch that it seemed angry to you. If you are truthful that you dislike how others treat each other and dehumanize them - maybe you wouldn't mind helping out with the racist "drive by" reviews of writers of color, Jewish writers, female writers, and others that fall afoul of white supremacists. This is real, and I just got past the first gatekeepers at Amazon. If we can come up with more evidence, maybe it can be stopped. This has festered with me for a long time, I do think it's real, and I do want to try to stop it. They even seem to target writers who are deceased and can't defend themselves, like Ralph Wiley and Octavia Butler. This isn't a joke. I think if inconsiderate and crappy rejection letters upset people here - maybe racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-Semitic Amazon reviews might bug a few people as well.

http://asterling.typepad.com/incipit_vita_nova/2007/04/amazoncom_revie.html

the individual voice said...

Hey, Amy, you start a blog on the subject and I'll happily join you.
I would love, love, love to see examples of what you are talking about. It's right up my alley of things I care about. Now that would most definitely have to be an anonymous blog because of the nasty types of truly angry, rageful, even dangerous haters out there writing that stuff. Now there is a good cause. Bravo, Amy! (Hey, there's nothing wrong the emotion of anger. It's how you use it.)

the individual voice said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were serious. Now I feel embarrassed...and rejected.

the individual voice said...

And cheap because I use a free blog. Cheap. The only thing worse than cheap is...rejected.

Writer, Rejected said...

TIV (You Cheap Blogger): I think she is serious. Why do you think she is joking?(Joking? Her? I don't think so.)

Anonymous said...

LROD is making waves, I've seen a number of new links to the site lately - I think it was that Larry Dark thing that really started it. From what I hear it made some people very very mad. They don't want anyone to criticize or even bring attention to the MFA/litjournal status quo.

Writer, Rejected said...

Uh-oh.....guess it was a secret that the short story is dead, huh?

the individual voice said...

I'm in the dark here. Could someone elaborate? What made some people very mad? What is the "MFA/lit journal status quo"? Could you define that and who's mad and why? Do I have to actually read the boring Larry Dark thing to know? Gosh, this is such an action-filled site. And free!

Writer, Rejected said...

I don't know. I don't find any new links to my site, irate or otherwise. They haven't shown up on google yet. Maybe someone in the know will enlighten us?