Tuesday, March 2, 2010
What Goes On Inside There?
piece on rejection a few years back over at the Kenyon Review blog. It's nothing we haven't covered in our daily tedium here at LROD (quite literally), but his is so nicely written, I thought you might enjoy it anyway, especially for the up-close-and-personal view into an actual discerning editor's mind. Here's a sample: After lo these many years as a magazine editor I have settled on a single flat sentence for my own use (“Thanks for letting me read your work, but it’s not quite right for this magazine,” a sentence I have come to love for the vast country of not quite right, into which you could cram an awful lot of sins), but I still have enduring affection for the creative no, such as this gem sent to a writer by a Chinese publication: “We have read your manuscript with boundless delight, and if we were to publish your paper, it would be impossible for us to publish any work of a 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 beg you a thousand times to overlook our short sight and timidity.”