Everybody knows that publishing houses are staffed exclusively by idiots. To prove it, I recently copied out the first tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh - in the original Akkadian but retitled as The Frivolity of Beagles and with the character name "Gilgamesh" changed to "John Tesh" - and posted it off to a bunch of publishers. Shockingly, not one publisher recognised this classic of world literature. One respondent suggested I read Janet Evanovich's How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author to learn how to "inject some sass" into my story. Another commended my "earthy voice" but found the story dated and confusing. Still another admitted that he hadn't bothered to read my submission at all: "Might I suggest that you make use of a word processor next time? Chiseled clay tablets are unwieldy, and, I might add, hurt like hell when dropped on one's foot. Also, a living language would be nice."
The wholesale rejection of "my" book is disturbing on two counts. First, it defies belief that people employed to read manuscripts for publishers aren't able to immediately identify any given work from any point in the history of literature, even if that work has been mocked up to look like a new, unpublished submission by an unknown author. Second, it demonstrates the lack of taste that is endemic in the publishing industry. These ignorant, clerk-type people with no literary sensibilities are being allowed to act as gatekeepers, and it is impossible to get quality material through. Not only did they knock back Gilgamesh - it's only been a classic for 4000 years! - but they've also rejected my original thriller The Field of Black Cabbages: A Detective Philip Spanx Novel. Philistines, the lot of them.