In the past it has been felt that secular publishing swoops in to make off with creative works before RandompenguinsXian and other religious publishers have a chance. Now evidence from LeakyWits is mounting that this may not always be the case.
In the last reveal, we saw that editor Phil Screwtype tried to get Woody to nudge Taylor, the fledgling acquisitions editor, back toward the Quaker romance line.
Yes, I have been a bit disappointed with these rejections, Woody. Still, my hopes remain high for our acquisitions work here. I’m very interested in satire. I like what Samuel James said about parody: “what parody is: A genre that illustrates rather than explicates” sometimes while mimicking style. I’ve read Terry Lindvall’s majestic, academic God Mocks and have notes…. Was astonished by his findings, and the plethora of satirists through the ages.
Satire is needed to season this attached essay-collection-in-progress so I suggested the author practice on his blog. He does seem to have a talent for it. Satire is tricky and can be misleadingly deceptive: If it’s too dry it can be seen by some as straightforwardly serious, not satire. So the writer almost has to label it, then reader and writer understand. Come right out in the style: yes this is satire! To be effective in our culture it must be close to the edge, even crazy, extreme. Then every type of intellect can recognize it as satire. We should be able to say this is satire, yes, and what does this particular piece of satire mean?
But I understand your hesitancy. Irony may be too cold-blooded for me as well. And satire without affection seems holier-than-thou. Another thing: there doesn’t seem anything else in them sometimes. No setting, character, yes and generally archetypal, but the atmosphere seems void of anything but satire. So I’ll encourage the full-orbed approach.
Taylor, I have read some Flannery O’Connor—not everything and not recently. Am not really sure what she’s doing there and don’t remember actually laughing or finding her stories particularly comic. My impression is of deadly seriousness. Mrs. May getting gored, for instance, hits too close for laughter… or comfort. But then O’Connor seemed to get something before dying, some sort of understanding missing from her other stories — in her last (was it?) “Revelation”? Still no laughter but I was satisfied.
I did read and enjoy A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym because the satire is affectionate. Both the book and the somewhat silly village portrayed in it are redeemed by affection.
Woody, what do you mean? —Satire?! You can’t be thinking there’s something here. Your examples, Swift, Brandt (Ship of Fools!), Voltaire? ancient satirists? O’Connor?! We couldn’t possibly. You know this. We are not the secular publishers. At IDN we try to encourage works of cultural yet current quality of the highest caliber. But do not forget. We are the watchful dragons. Let nothing past that ought not to pass. This is our obligation to the Christian message of life.
If we find it doesn’t play we will have to get someone else. Someone… shall we say signal-able? After all, with such appreciation of subtle art as possesses her—well you see —she should be able to understand if you handle the right.
Satire? Puts the deal over the edge. Are you mentoring—or is she? Come to your senses!
Let’s meet for lunch.
Woody, I can’t say how bad I feel. I had such hopes. Maybe this just isn’t my calling. Really it was brave of you to stand up with me—at such a cost. Did you know it would happen? Can’t you just say you tried, and let it go at that? I know you are valuable to IDN. You’ve been there forever! So, not as long as Phil, but. I know you are valuable to him. Please let him know.
So sad, Taylor
Woody, all the best to you (and of course to Taylor). We here at RandompenguinsXian and ImprimDeNature are going to miss both your intelligent hard work and you. We wish you all the best as you leave us for the new venture. I hope it goes well with you. After all, we do need good literary, genre and Shaker romance fiction in this world. (Quite provocative, the last.) Works of subtlety and sway. Very clever on your part to attempt the differentiation from ours of your proposed romance line.) The world needs the salt and light your new enterprise will bring to the faith.
I understand that Taylor is to join you in the new endeavor. Please give her my regards and wish her all the best as she begins her new career afresh.
All best, Phil
GBH Note: The gospel tract writer of the same name as this post’s author has contacted us to caution that these supposed LeakyWits exposures may be fake news. After careful consideration, and much perturbation, we’ve decided to permit their publication here with this warning.