Friday, 7 June 2013

Rejection Early-Twentieth Century, Chinese Style

Copyright: Janet Cameron
I found, in my book of  3500 Good Quotes for Speakers, edited by Gerald F. Lieberman, the following rejection letter from a Chinese publisher. How could one describe such a missive? Acutely sensitive, vomit-inducing, charmingly subservient, lyrical, OTT, or just plain daft.

"Illustrious brother of the sun and moon, look upon the slave who rolls at thy feet, who kisses the earth before thee, and demands of thy charity permission to speak and live. We have read the manuscript with delight. By the bones of our ancestors we swear that never before have we encountered such a masterpiece. Should we print it, His Majesty, the Emperor, would order us to take it as a criterion and never again print anything that was not equal to it. As that would not be possible before ten thousand years, all trembling we return this manuscript and beg thee ten thousand pardons. See my head at thy feet, and I am the slave of thy servant. - The Editor."

Personally, I think I would prefer the word "Rubbish!" scrawled across the front page.


2 comments:

Lorraine Syratt said...

It may have been sarcasm. It's possible the rejected writer actually wrote like that.

Janet Cameron said...

I never thought of thst! That would be so cruel.