A guide to the tags/word cloud thingy on the main page…
I’m afraid that I do not have the time to exhaustively check and reference all of my facts and figures, which I would like to do. In fact, I think there should be a law, or at least a custom, that any figures given in parliament must be set in context with a comparison.
Anything I post hear will have been thought about to some degree, but nowhere near the level of a speech to an august and learned body. I reserve my right to admit being wrong and to change my mind.
Political posts will be tagged, oddly enough, “Politics”….
Rejections for Classics
While I was trying to work on Space Expectations during a Creative Writing degree, and afterwards trying to sell it to agents, I began to question the wisdom of re-doing a story from the nineteenth century. It may be acknowledged a classic, but if it were written for the very first time today, would it sell at all? (Leaving aside the issue of genres and influences in the mean time.)
As a colleague mentions on his own blog, he tried submitting a much more recent award-winning classic from Kurt Vonnegut to various agencies (over 300!) and got universal rejections.
It may be, quite reasonably, that a book is of its time and does not function if deprived of that context. So should we entirely forget Shakespeare, Steinbeck etc except for educational purposes? Or if people can still read and enjoy them, then could we publish new and original books with the instruction “read with an Edwardian mindset as if the First World War had not yet happened” or somesuch? Would that work? After all, a lot of people who wax lyrical over a loved book would cast it aside with a snort if they saw it for the first time without “Penguin classics” stamped on its cover.
But anyhow, let us imagine classics being submitted today, and the response of publishers and agents. You will have to suspend disbelief, or course, because a lot of the time the books would not actually have been read, and if they were, there still wouldn’t be any feedback….
Tagged “Classic Rejection”