Publishers reject classic titles

Only one out of 18 publishers managed to spot plagiarized versions of Jane Austen novels, a writer says.

David Lassman, 43, from Bath, had his own attempt at a novel rejected by a string of publishers.

So he retyped parts of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, before sending them to publishers and agents.

Not only did most of the literary experts fail to spot the trick -none offered him a book contract. [Read More …]

In defense of the publishers, if someone composed "Beethoven's 10th Symphony", i.e., totally captured Beethoven's genius but wrote music from the point of view that existed during Beethoven's lifetime, it just wouldn't work.

If someone painted a new Sistine Chapel, it would succeed nowhere but in Las Vegas.

Publishers don't have time to thoroughly read everything that lands on their desks. Many may have immediately reacted with a rejection after concluding that the author was a hack trying to imitate the style of Jane Austen. Others may have realized the plagiarism but felt they had nothing to gain in mentioning it.

Marion Dreyfus remarks:

I briefly dated Jerzy Kosinski. I was quite privileged that he spent time with me. He was a fascinating man, not for a second boring, full of ideas and a river of intriguing hypotheses, intense and involving.

He laughed that when grad students retyped his prize-winning PEN-winning novels, they too were not recognized, and rejected forthwith. His books are hot, quite recent, relatively, and famed — immortal modern classics.

Ken Smith adds:

I can always bring The Painted Bird to mind. Kosinski put prejudice, discrimination, scapegoating in a perfect setting. It couldn't be done better. If only his material were mandatory reading before kids get out of high school.


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