Rude Rejection Letter for Gertrude Stein

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 02 2011 6:00 PM ET

A rejection letter is a rejection letter is a rejection letter, even when it's for Gertrude Stein, the iconic lesbian author known for her challenging writing style. The American ex-pat who chose Paris as her home and was noted for many groundbreaking novels, including The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, was a close friend of fellow writers Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and for composing the widely-used phrase "rose is a rose is a rose." Still Stein was no stranger to rejection as demonstrated by a letter from a publisher dismissing her submission that's now circulating the blogosphere.

The letter, dated April 19, 1912, reads: "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 being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your M.S. 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."

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