Literary agent Miss Snark (www.misssnark.blogspot.com wouldn't know an original writer if the person dropped on top of her. She and her ilk don't want originality. They cherish conformity-- which is why their main concern as editors and agents is in the manners, presentation, and obsequiousness of those who approach them. Make sure those manuscripts are neat and clean! Uh oh! He misspelled a word. Send the novel back to Mr. Dostoevsky immediately!
Miss Snark can abuse authors daily on her blog because she knows standard demi-puppet writers are interchangeable. She can always find a replacement, exactly the same, for the author she's just kicked down the stairway.
Why is this? Why do standard MFA writers get no respect? Why, after having paid for the preciously worthless certificate, are they asked to pony up another $350 (in New York) or $200 (in Philly) just to be allowed to briefly say "hi" to arrogant agents, editors, and publishers from the mainstream?
An artificial oversupply of writers is continually created by MFA factories. These aren't writers, but writer-wannabes. They think, "Golly! It'd be cool to be a writer." The vague notion appeals to their egos-- so they take expensive writing classes to "learn" "how" to write. They eventually achieve a basic competence-- a veneer of mediocrity. (The real writer, on the other hand, writes, regardless of background or circumstances. For the real writer, writing is an integral part of his being-- like breathing-- like Wild Bill when he was living off the land in New Mexico yet never failing to produce new issues of his hand-made zeen.)
When you have an oversupply of anything, its value plummets. This is how a Miss Snark is able to treat writers-- the foundation of the process-- with total contempt. "If God did not want them sheared he would not have made them sheep." The Snarks of literature are like the bandit leader from the movie "The Magnificent Seven." They carry his attitude.
Who put Miss Snark in charge? Does she know anything about literature, about art? Her posts show that she knows only about business. Art is secondary. Art is incidental-- an afterthought. If Snark received the hand-scrawled yellow pages of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel in a box she'd have it taken quickly to the nearest dumpster in the alley behind her Manhattan office building. "Ugh!" she'd exclaim. "Disgusting!"
Robotic apparatchiks like her are in charge of literature today-- which is why this culture finds no great writers.
One can stand up like a human being or crawl like a mouse. Until writers begin to stand up for themselves, they'll have no value in this corrupt society.
In the Underground Literary Alliance, writers are in charge of the operation.
(p.s. For those who think in stereotypes, I've not sent an unsolicited manuscript anywhere in fifteen years. Jumping through hoops like an obedient dog has never been my game. I'm more interested in DIY. Creating an alternative literature is what ULAers are doing.)