Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mona Lisa’s Smile (Literary Judgement #2)

“Your manuscript,” Samuel Johnson was told, “is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”  “You just do not know how to use the English language!” someone advised young Rudyard Kipling. Orwell’s Animal Farm? Rejected, because it was “impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.” Kerouac’s On the Road?  Dismissed as “huge, sprawling and inconclusive.”  “I don't dig this one at all,” said one editor of it. And The Da Vinci Code? Rejected, because it was badly written. (Is this why the Mona Lisa smiles?)

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