Your must-reads from the world of highbrow wordage this week are two sides of the same coin: this delightfully savage interview with literary agent Andrew Wylie, he of a reputation for cutthroat tactics, an impossible author roster, dandyish charm and a hatred for Amazon that outstrips Franzen’s—and then this list of “outtakes," all the devastating bon mots that couldn’t be crammed into the original article. It’s an embarrassment of bitches, people.
But for all it pleases me to hold Wylie up as a hero (he slammed Gone Girl
, about which I have a very personal gripe
), I am beset by one awful fact: Andrew Wylie, agent par excellence, “the jackal,” dream snob, will never represent my sorry fiction. Why would he? He’s still busy with the estate of Vladimir fucking Nabokov. Check out his agency’s client list
and the first name you see is King Abdullah II. KING. I don’t know what he’s king of, but I’m pretty sure it’s important. Has he written anything interesting? Doesn’t matter.
This is what I love most of all, though: say you’re aware you don’t have a shot at making it into such elite company—Wylie has also said he doesn’t really deal with younger writers, for whom he is a puzzling Ronald Reagan-like figure—but wouldn’t mind hanging out in a nearby slush pile. Click on to the “Submissions”
bar and here’s the message you get: “The Wylie Agency does not currently accept unsolicited submissions.” You got that? They’re too busy to even reject you right now. May as well just staple that manuscript to your butt and jump in front of a train.