ROTTEN REJECTIONS, edited by Andre Bernard, Penguin, $5.95. A publisher wrote H. G. Wells that his novel The Time Machine was "not interesting enough for the general reader and not thorough enough for the scientific reader." James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was rejected because it was "rather discursive and the point of view is not at all an attractive one." Herman Melville was told that Moby Dick was "very long, rather old-fashioned and in our opinion not deserving . . ." Emily Dickinson managed to ignore "Queer _ the rhymes were all wrong" and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead elicited the response: "It is badly written and the hero is unsympathetic."
This collection of rotten rejections by wrongheaded critics should provide inspiration for writers everywhere.