The Day T.S. Eliot Passed on a Literary Masterpiece

#literature #editors #writers #authors #publishing

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) may have been a brilliant poet, author, and playwright, but as a judge of other authors, he was far from infallible. When given a chance to review one manuscript, in particular, he wrote off as unpublishable a work that was destined to become a classic.

Eliot was working at the publishing firm Faber & Faber in 1944. He received a manuscript from a promising author. He read it and determined it was unsuitable for publication. He wrote the rejection letter to the aspiring author, noting that the manuscript “is a distinguished piece of writing; that the fable is very skilfully handled, and that the narrative keeps one’s interest on its own plane – and that is something very few authors have achieved since Gulliver.”

Despite this, Eliot told the disappointed author that Faber  & Faber would not be publishing his book. “I think my own dissatisfaction with this… is that the effect is simply one of negation. It ought to excite some sympathy with what the author wants, as well as sympathy with his objections to something: and the positive point of view… is not convincing,” he said in his letter.

Fortunately, the author was not too discouraged and sought another opinion. That is why Secker & Warburg publishers were able to release George Orwell’s Animal Farm to the public in August 1945.

#AnimalFarm #GeorgeOrwell #TSEliot #publishing #writing #writers #authors
The rejection letter from T.S. Eliot to George Orwell concerning the publication of “Animal Farm.”

Perhaps Eliot was thinking of his own limitations when he observed, “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”

The Horrible Five-Week Visit That Destroyed a Friendship

It shouldn’t have been surprising that Chuck and John struck up a friendship. After all, the two men had a lot in common. They shared many of the same interests, a common profession, and were both highly regarded in their field. They first met at a social gathering where John appealed to Chuck’s vanity by…

Keep reading
#BigBrother #1984 #cameras #BigBrotherIsWatching

Big Brother Keeps an Eye on Orwell Home

George Orwell’s novel 1984 took the world by storm when it was published in 1949. It told the story of a dystopian future where the government maintained control by keeping a close eye on all of the people. Known as ”Big Brother,” the government used every means available to spy on its citizens. The populace…

Keep reading
#authors #books #DarkAndStormyNight

It Was a Dark and Stormy Opening Line

One of the most famous opening passages of any novel comes from a book that is hardly recognized today. George Bulwer-Lytton introduced the world to Paul Clifford in 1830 with the words, “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust…

Keep reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.