Touch Me How I Want to Be Touched

@grahamfoust responds like a human being to the Paris Review retroactive rejection on twitter: “I’m actually not that upset–they’re giving me fries with my kill fee, and the poems were all just shit I took from Google anyway.”

@ the Observer, Christian Lorentzen gives the most evenhanded coverage of the thing in full: Dead Poem Society.

But really, if we’re going to talk about this, which I guess people insist upon, here’s a question: as a writer do you feel entitled to careful handling?

Is this handling different, say, than the care you’d receive at McDonald’s? If it is different, how is it different? Because McDonald’s is a service you are buying, and selling writing is a service you are offering, shouldn’t the quality control be more on the McDonald’s end than the other?

If kill fees are common in all other art, including journalism, why should poems carry different weight? Even outside of art, why more than any other object? If I buy a table from Crate & Barrel, then decide I can’t use the table, for whatever reason, I take the table back no questions asked.

Why should art be given special treatment? Should it?

Am I wrong to return a book I don’t like to Borders after reading part of it? What if I read the whole thing? Have I consumed?

Furthermore, why are the most popular blog posts online always about topics such as rejection, submission, balance, all things that pertain wholly to the self? Are we a consolidation of 8 year olds, looking for fingerpainting time? Where is fanfare needed more?

Behind the Scenes / 387 Comments
July 21st, 2010 / 12:29 pm