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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Rejections, Dancers, Books

No Thanks, Mr. Nabokov by David Oshinsky discusses manuscripts rejected by Alfred A. Knopf Inc. While Knopf has published "the works of 17 Nobel Prize-winning authors as well as 47 Pulitzer Prize-winning volumes of fiction, nonfiction, biography and history," they have also let some good ones get away. The article lists some of the authors and works as well as some of the rejection letters--some kind and encouraging and one that ended with "Lay off, MacDuff"! :) Entertaining and informative.

I found this wonderful video of Deaf Chinese Dancers on Living the Questions and thought it too beautiful not share. You have to hang on a while to see the dancers but they are worth the wait.

I've finished two more books: Season of the Witch and Long Ago in France. These marathon reads at night will probably end soon, but I'm reveling in reading right now.


  1. I enjoyed that article about rejections too -- I'd hate to be the one who rejected a famous person! But it strikes me as very, very difficult to recognize new kinds of talent, and I can see why people might not "get it" at first.

  2. dorothy -- I know what you mean, and taste is also such an individual concept. Fortunately, some excellent manuscripts found the right reader.

    I enjoyed the tact and encouragement in some of the nice rejections...although, the MacDuff one was pretty final! So many authors were rejected by so many publishers before finding one to take them, a lesson in persistence.

    I found the difference of working with a completed manuscript in the past and the current policy of granting contracts on sketches or outlines of novels interesting as well.

  3. That was an amazing video. Really beautiful. I took a course in sign language while in college and got to go to quite a few deaf events and it's such an interesting culture! They are a very close knit group and are very strong willed! I plan on taking more sign language classes in the future!

  4. Chris -- Isn't it beautiful? I watched it in awe.

    I've always wanted to learn ASL, but have never pursued it. Years ago, PBS had a television special in which The National Theater of the Deaf presented Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales--a marvelous production of one of my favorite works.

  5. All these marathon reads at night. You getting enough sleep?

    But really, you're reading really fast. I'm jealous. :(

  6. Orpheus -- I settle in after dinner and read until quite late. :)