Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Reading Books is Fundamental"

 "The first thing I can remember buying for myself, aside from candy, of course, was not a toy. It was a book."

A flat-out wonderful column by Charles M Blow, from the New York Times, on the value and power of reading.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"The Art of Rejection"

I just read a marvelous blog post by Graywolf Press editor Jeff Schotts, titled "The Art of Rejection"

You MUST read the whole piece, which you can find here: 

Here are a few lines to pique your interest:

"I am an editor, and I am required to practice the art of rejection. It is an art I do not recommend others devote themselves to, but I am that art’s apprentice. There are no masters, and those who claim mastery are, in truth, practicing the arts of pity and condescension, and there are no places for them here....

The first thing to be said is: by practicing this art, you will disappoint, can only disappoint, you will always always disappoint. Your most practiced rejection, however worded, however encouraging you fashion it to be, is still a rejection. It is still a disappointment.

The next thing to say is: the editor must disappoint. Practice this art long enough, and you will disappoint many. Hundreds, and then thousands. You will carry this with you. You will lament that you have to hone a skill that makes you detestable.

You will always have rejected many, many, numerous many more than you can possibly ever accept. You will hope that you will be thought of, if you are thought of, as the editor who accepted the work of this author, and this author, and this author too. But you know, in truth, that the odds are every bit as stacked against you as they are for writers. You may more likely be known, if you are known, as the editor who rejected the work of this author, and this author, and this author too.

There are archives amassing more and more evidence against you. We now know those who rejected the work of Anne Frank and Vladimir Nabokov, among many others. History will expose you. Your ignorance will be marveled at. Your rejection will eventually reject you..." 

Thanks to my old friend David Carr for letting me know about The Art of Rejection. 
Tom Campbell