Unsolicited Manuscripts

Fascinating piece in The Guardian about the ‘albatross of publishing’ – the great pile of unsolicited manuscripts that sit in every publishing house, teetering and wobbling, threatening to engulf the floor. The news to all the talented but yet unpublished is as depressing as ever, but Harper Collins is launching a website where authors can upload their work to be commented on by readers. But what struck me was the bit where the Knopf publishing house archives revealed readers’ reports rejecting Anne Frank’s diary (“A dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotion”), Borges (“utterly untranslatable”) and Sylvia Plath (“There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice”).

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