Thursday, 19 July 2007


A frustrated author submits the opening chapters of three Austen novels (characters' names changed to make it a bit difficult) to eighteen publishers and agents.

And gets seventeen rejection letters. Only one reader spotted the ruse.

An easy trick: Pierre Menard tried harder.

“My intent is no more than astonishing,” he wrote me the 30th of September, 1934, from Bayonne.
He did not want to compose another Quixote —which is easy— but the Quixote itself. Needless to say, he never contemplated a mechanical transcription of the original; he did not propose to copy it. His admirable intention was to produce a few pages which would coincide—word for word and line for line—with those of Miguel de Cervantes.

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