While we’re thinking about how we continue in the face of failure, here is a salutary letter from a publisher to Gertrude Stein. While I should be thinking, poor Gertrude, I can’t help a fellow feeling for this editor on the brink of hysteria. I think it’s very funny, though perhaps I shouldn’t. 

 

Stein-letter

 

It reads:

Dear Madam,

I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your MS three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one. 

Many thanks. I am returning the MS by registered post. Only one MS by one post.

 

One editor. One author. One rejection. Many giggles.