So following my post the other day concerning Kurt Vonnegut, I thought I’d share a quick passage with you from his book, Slaughterhouse 5. The moment I first read this I thought it to be a very clever piece of writing; not so much in its construction, vocabulary, &c., but more for the imagination and uplifting (yet poignant) message it holds.
…It was a movie about American bombers in the second world war and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this.
I don’t know if you’ve heard the story of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions being submitted to 100 agents and ignored by 99 of them; but if you haven’t, it goes something like this:
“Frustrated at the lack of attention that his manuscript for Swap got from mainstream literary agents and publishing houses, Sam Moffie disguised one of his favorite novels first chapter – Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut – into a manuscript that Moffie called The Perfect Martini, and sent it to the top 100 literary agents in America. Ninety-nine out of 100 passed on the work – a feat that Moffie has used to highlight how difficult it is to get literary fiction featuring satire, humor and conventional culture getting kicked in the tush published.” (wikipedia)
Naturally, my initial reaction was one of shock. I mean if an author like Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse 5, Cat’s Cradle) can’t even get past the query stage, then what hope is there for me and others like me?