Saturday, January 17, 2009

Are You A Literary Slumdog?

It's probably easier to hit the jackpot this way than to get into the New Yorker!


Anonymous said...

This site is an odd mixture. In the post just below, we wound up with a potentially useful discussion of The New Yorker, including input from someone who'd worked there. I'm simply not aware of any other lit forum where you can get information like this (if there is, someone please post a url!!). But then we get posts like this.

I think that fantasies of wealth, power, and fame are a different deal from writing. Seriously. There are writers like Hemingway who seem to combine them, but of course you know what happened there, and he wasn't all that good a writer.

Psychologists say that by early adolescence, some folks sort out the difference between fantasies of wealth, power, and fame, and grow up to be mature adults. The others have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I'm not sure if everyone here has sorted this one out.

Writer, Rejected said...

Yes. In my country, we call that "a sense of humor."

And if you can tell me that writing is something other than 80% hard work, 18% talent, and 2% fantasy that one will become famous, then you, sir or madam, are a madman.

(Lest you all jump down my throat, please note these percentages are approximate.)

Anonymous said...

The 80 percent hard work must include key factors such as tenacity and/or masochism. I think talent might be higher than 18 percent, at least in terms of being a really exceptional writer. But I could be wrong.

hmph said...

the potentially useful discussion consists of a anonymous commenters, one of whom heard info from an intern ( or claimed to have heard it, or heard info from someone who claimed to have been an intern) and a dude who claims to have been an old fiction dept employee.

all completely unsubstantiated, though the last one sounds like a press release, and we all know how truthful those are. Unless deborah triesman in the flesh descends from on high to grant lrod an interview, what's posted is posted.

Anonymous said...

So W,R, rather than continually hiding behind "can't you take a joke", why not do something useful and in fact try to contact triesman?

Anonymous said...

As for the We-Read-Every-Submission comment - hogwash.
If a senate committee investigated the New Yorker's editorial practices (I can dream, can't I?), the gal/guy who made that claim would never surface.
But Deborah Treisman would be served with a subpoena (the only way she could be forced to come down from her ivory tower) and it would be revealed that every story that makes it to the pages of the NYer comes directly to her desk, gift-wrapped. Even some absolute junk (ever read "After the Movie"?).

Writer, Rejected said...

Talk about fantasy! You think Deborah Treisman is going to come to LROD to answer questions? Dude, she hides from people like us. Here, read this:

Ms. McCluckers said...

the fiction department worker discredits my source! i heard that automated email bit from a dear child of my sibling. a relative who has no reason to lie to his/her auntie McCluckers.

yes, the idea that they would read every submission is hogwash, as if they would have time for that anyway!

j. said...

I'm confused. Was I the only person who I thought that was a pretty generous and forthright interview? I would understand why she might not be willing to be interviewed on this site (particularly given the abuse and negative attention that has rained upon Darin Strauss), but I'm not sure where you get that she is "[hiding] from people like us."

Writer, Rejected said...

No, I didn't mean that the interview suggested that she's hiding from us. I meant, "here's an interview if you want to know what Deborah Treisman thinks."

As for her hiding from people like us, wouldn't you? And not just for the legitimate reasons you mention, but because we stink with desperation to be published, which (in my experience) makes editors run in the opposite direction.

It seems to me that when one is very successful in publishing, and even nearing genuine literary success, one is no longer desperate in an odorous way that clears a room), But, then again, only guessing. Someone might write in and tell me that I'm living in a fantasy world. That seems to happen a lot on this site lately. But I'm only going to believe it, if the someone is someone famous.

Oprah said...

You're living in a fantasy world, dude, and your fabulous novel is getting my book club stamp.

toni said...

This is all so boring.

How about stirring something up?

Remember all those great rejections. Calling editors/pubs for what they were. Showing how lame these things were, form letters et. al. Manifestoes.

This blog seems so different from how I remember it a year ago. It seemed like it was going somewhere then lost all its steam. What happened?

Maybe it needs to rename itself "The Literary-Dude's Gripe And Bitch Saloon". Because that's what it feels like now.

Writer, Rejected said...

What do you think happened? I posted all my back-logged rejections and my new ones when they happen to roll in, but I'm essential out. I ask and ask and ask, but very few people ever send me their rejections, so what can I do? Except be boring and spawn gripes.
But since you bring it up, why don't you, fair Anon, send me a couple of rejections to post?

Anonymous said...

I too think there's a problem with LROD.
About a year ago W/R started to chase real dissidents away. By dissidents, I mean people who think that there is somthing basically wrong with literary fiction today. We were characterized as attack dogs; we got taken to the woodshed for incivility (others could be as nasty as they wanted); when one of us made an appearance, comments immediately appeared, belittling what we had to say (and not addressing the content of our thoughts).
I think W/R has backed off; he could see a deadly blandness setting in (which means a loss of readers; this blog, for him, has become a form of success).
I think the only thing that bothers W/R about the literary scene is that he's not Inside it. Those who want to tear down the country clubhouse are threatening the building he wants to be In. Some predicament!
Sorry if this sounds harsh. We all have an agenda. I just don't find yours, W/R, to be one I agree with.
I've referred to you as a "he." Don't know about that. Women are typically concerned about flabby thighs.