Analysis Of Percival Everitt's Monk By Yul Monk

Decent Essays
“The line is, you’re not black enough,” Yul, Monk's literary agent, declares to Monk as he learns the latest of his novels is amongst a stack of rejections. This proclamation marks Monk’s seventeenth rejection by publishing companies. The lead character and protagonist, Monk, also known as Thelonious Ellison, is an avant-garde novelist and professor of English literature, much like his creator, author Percival Everitt, who published Erasure in 2001. Monk prides his literary writings of obscure papers and does not see them, nor any of his works, as works of color. He describes himself as a man of many different interests, and even tells the reader of the things he is not capable of doing, but allows the reader to take his inferences to come…show more content…
It is important for the author to bring awareness to the conflict between writers and mainstream media, desiring his readers to understand better the complexities of trying to get one's work published, particularly in a market controlled by the pious opinions of publishers. Everitt's frustration is evident as he illustrates Monk's arrival back to his home in California. Monk begins to go through his mail when met with yet another rejection letter from his agent. Yul had attached the copy of a rejection notice which read, in part, “It shows a brilliant intellect, certainly. It’s challenging and masterfully written and constructed, but who wants to read this [shx!]? It’s too difficult for the market” (Everitt 42). There it is, while Monk’s work is considered to be an intelligent piece of writing –a masterpiece, even-- the publisher is the one who pedantically suggests no one would be interested in it, insinuating no one of Monk's race would even care to try and comprehend the complex content of his material. It is apparent the author is well aware of the ignorance perpetuated by publishing companies who try to dictate a writer's identity according to some unspoken rule, defining what is marketable, and what is not. This practice of stereotyping is not an issue which is widely spoken about outside of the literary world and perhaps is why Everett…show more content…
Gender profiling is another atrocity controlled by the hands of publication companies. Not to suggest the similarities between race and gender are identical, but to point out that injustices being handed out from the media are nothing new. For example, women in centuries past used pseudonyms to get their work published, such as Louisa May Alcott who penned her early writings under the name of A.M. Barnard, gaining notoriety first as a male writer before publishing works under her real name. Society and publishers have long held an ideology as to what material would be best-suited for writers, according to society's impression of one's race and gender. The struggle still exists for writers today. For example, publishers thought it acceptable for author Scott Westerfeld to pen the Uglies series, whose main character is a fifteen-year-old girl, yet, the famous Harry Potter series author, J.K. Rowling was told it was not wise for a woman to be writing from the perspective of a young boy. Therefore, she was asked by her publisher to forego the usage of her first name and also to create a middle initial. Rowling also wanted to write crime novels, but to do so successfully, in the world of literary critics, she adopted the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. After all, who would buy any other type of genre after the success Harry
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