Friday, March 7, 2008

Rejection Equation: Proust = You

The literary magazine West Branch rejects you by quoting an inane rejection of Proust. Then a simple statement: "Thanks for sending to WEST BRANCH. Though we have decided not to publish you work this time, we appreciate your interest in the magazine. Simple, yet pretentious, wouldn't you say?


Anonymous said...

The "inane" rejection was right, in the case of Remembrance.
My problem is that West Branch is implying that THEY, with their exquisite sensibilities, would have appreciated Proust (and just loved Finnegan's Wake).

Pauline said...

Anonymous--isn't this saying the opposite? That West Branch, in rejecting this writer's work, recognizes it could be making the same sort of mistake that Bernard did, in rejecting Proust? I think it's meant to cheer up the writer (of course it doesn't work, but still).

Anonymous said...

The difference is that Bernard actually took the time to put down his rejection thoughts on paper - something the editors of West Branch would never do. Instead, they use the Bernard-Proust situation to imply that the same thing could be happening here. But the editors don't believe it. I don't think they believe anything they publish is as good as Proust, nor do they think of themselves as important editors. It's just another credit.

Anonymous said...

After getting a rejection back from West Branch I kind of have to agree with the comment above. I could tell that the pages weren't even separated in my submission packet. Whatever goes on behind the scenes there, I do not think I had a fair shot at being accepted. I'm just glad to know I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

they don't do this anymore because it's all electronic. same message, just no proust quote.

of course after they reject everything i send them within a week of sending, and this happens 10+ times a sub period, i wonder how much they do "appreciate your interest in the magazine".

i've had editors at commercial magazines tell me flat out that i'm "just not their kind of writer." why are these "literary" journals such pussies about it?

would a college journal like this ever say "look, you're just not for us, stop sending"?

i'm gonna keep flooding them until they do.