“I’m not sure what Heinemann’s sees in this first novel unless it is a kind of youthful American female brashness. But there certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice … It is too bad because Miss Plath has a way with words and a sharp eye for unusual and vivid detail. But maybe now that this book is out of her system she will use her talent more effectively next time. I doubt if anyone over here will pick this novel up, so we might well have a second chance.”
- Knopf editor, on Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
“We have been carrying out our usual summer house-cleaning of the manuscripts on our anxious bench and in the file, and among them I find the three papers which you have shown me as samples of your work. I am sincerely sorry that no one of them seems to us well adapted for our purpose. Both the account of the bombing of Dresden and your article, “What’s a Fair Price for Golden Eggs?” have drawn commendation although neither one is quite compelling enough for final acceptance.”
- The Atlantic editor, on 3 Kurt Vonnegut writing samples
“…this is a badly misdirected talent and … this huge sprawling and inconclusive novel would probably have small sales and sardonic indignant reviews from every side.”
- Knopf editor, on Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Finding encouragement in the fact that even the best aren’t always “good enough.”
This is an iPhone voice note of my song Cathedral I took in my dorm last winter. I’d say this is still one of the more meaningful songs I’ve written, and this raw version of it that I recorded right after I finished writing the song brings back a lot of interesting feelings. Kind of makes me miss Jacksonville, too.
The return of Mumfordmania is imminent, as the British quartet have been road-testing an album’s worth of new material ever since the release of their 2009 breakout debut, Sigh No More. Most notably, “Home” and “Lover’s Eyes” picked up on the promise of early material by offering plenty of sing-along arrangements and evocative moments primed for an even wider audience. Now comes “Ghosts” — according to Ben Lovett, or “Ghosts That We Knew,” if it’s up to Marcus Mumford — via a recent live performance on Radio 104.5. By the looks of things, no sophomore slump is in sight. Hear the tune above.
“Perhaps we don’t like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.”—Sufjan Stevens (via asteroig)