Saturday, February 05, 2011


This is a pretty damn severe rejection, but, if you’re going reject Gertrude Stein, severe is maybe the only way to go. Although writers don’t have to cope the levels of rejection suffered by actors and dancers, sections of the publishing industry have always taken an obscene glee in creating scenarios of suffering that can drive sensitive artists to doubt, to drink, to drugs, or, at the most destructive despairing extreme, generate the suicidal death-machismo of Hemingway or Dr. Thompson. And now print teeters on the brink of extinction, people ask me how I am able to adapt to the end of everything I hold dear. I just smile and shrug. Writers have adapted easily to a radically changing technology. We simply go on writing. The hard part is finding people to pay us. The real pain is in publishing where a great winnowing of individuals who had little talent beyond an ability to order lunch. (I think I can safely say this because few editors employed in mainstream publishing read this blog and those who do will happily agree with me.) It’s a little consolation as books supposedly vanish. (Which, of course, they won't. They will simply mutate)

Click here for an interesting video take on the future of publishing supplied by the lovely Hermit. (But stick with it to the end.)


theo said...

It’s the same in the visual arts, dear sir. Been doing it for forty years. It’s given me a great understanding of the alcoholic liquids.
As a friend recently told me, “I’m a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings!”

dh said...

Reminds me of that bloke at Decca who rejected the Beatles.