The author's burden and sorrow - Werner Koschan
- Written by Portal Editor
I opened the editorial door just a crack, just enough for my head to fit through. "May I come inside?"
Annoyed, the chief editor looked up from a manuscript.
'Oh, it's you. To hell with you, of course you're not registered again because you know I'm not available. Well, come in anyway. But don't bother me, I don't have time. You never have time. Dirty job miserable! That might be a lousy manuscript,' he said, banging the paper and pouring himself coffee.
It's poetry, but you scribblers all think you're brilliant
'Listen to the nonsense. 'The wind grabbed her hair.' Have you ever seen the wind grab? Me neither. Is that supposed to be poetry? that I don't laugh. Our readers are far too stressed to understand such pompous stuff. The wind blew...that's how it goes. It's poetry, but you writers think you're all brilliant - and you're just indescribable. That stuff belongs in the wastebasket.” He followed his opinion with action. "And what are you going to do to me now? How many pages?' He flipped to the last one. "Way too long. Nobody has that much time to read that. Do I have to cut back – also just work that nobody thanks me for. Well, let's see. But I only read sideways.«
I was still standing in front of the desk, trying to read the editor's expression, looking for goodwill, fearing icy rejection. An uncomfortable feeling, especially when my account was in the red well past the stop.
He looked from my manuscript to the sky and then to me. “Are you serious? The story is bad, abysmal - oh what, even worse! And your description of young women belies any characteristic. Always these constant repetitions of pretty, erotic little deer. Go out on the street and look at the young people. Many tasteless, style less and not infrequently overweight people will cross your path - I haven't seen a single deer today. And I take the bus for over an hour every day. What you write there is kitsch. Are you uptight? Do you have complexes? Are you drinking too much? Drinking makes you stupid, I notice it in myself too.«
"It's not my fault you don't like my story," I said, hurt.
'Maybe you just can't write. That happens more often than you think. Do you want to take your stuff back with you? Or should I dispose of it?”
'No, that was almost three years of work. I'm not throwing them away. Bye bye.” I avoided saying you goofball.
One year later.
Yes, just the right length, I knew it.
A few short stories had been published by other publishers, and by spring I remembered my manuscript. That was a spring story. In the aftertaste of last year's disgrace, I was gripped by indignation at Lector’s blockhead and this time I walked into his office without knocking. "Your permission?"
'Go ahead, my dear. You have access to me at any time. Have a seat. Would you like to have a coffee?"
A year ago he had drunk the coffee alone. "No thank you."
“Hold on a minute, I'll be right through the proofreading. What nonsense. The crane flew by. Where are there still cranes in the city? That's what a writer wants to be. And if they were stilted like that, then the cattle brushed past or blew past. That's poetic. This Stoffel just writes crap. Away with it. So, my dear, where have you been all this time? I have read some excellent stories from you. Unfortunately, with the competitor, you always bring me botch. Do you have anything new with you? Show me."
Like last year, he turned to the last page. 'Yes, just the right length, I knew it. Would you like at least one whisky? Come on, man has to drink, drinking stimulates. Creative people in particular should drink a lot more. Look at me, I drink too. That's how you succeed. Let me give you an impression of the content of your work. «
He began to read, his face bright with pleasure. He smiled, even laughed, and laid my manuscript on the desk in front of him almost tenderly. »I knew that you could write so well. And those wonderful reruns. Just between us…” He leaned toward me and spoke softly behind his hand. 'I find that with your little deer quite charming. The world is full of such honeyed creatures. I just fell in love with one of those myself, wonderful. I'll take your story as a lead. Do you need an advance? Well, go ahead and say yes, I know how it is with you writers!"
Please read as well:
After leaving Caravan Salon hike to relax on the Rhine