Flavorwire: Best-Selling books that were originally rejected.

Anyone who has ever wanted to work in a creative field, be it writing, painting or playing music has been told they’d better develop thick skin. After all, it doesn’t matter how good you are, someone will always be there to tear you down. It’s hard to think of a better example of this than to look at some rejected books that would later become some of the best-selling titles in the world. From the Twilight saga to Anne Frank’s Diary, the success of these books shows that even people paid to evaluate the commercial potential of a work of art sometimes underestimate the most valuable titles.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Despite its having sold 40 million copies since 1970, publishers originally thought that the concept of a book being told from the point of view of a seagull was simply ridiculous. As a result, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected a total of eighteen times.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

These days, Anne Frank has one of the best-known holocaust stories and the book has sold 30 million copies around the world. Surprisingly, the tale wasn’t too popular with publishers though, and was rejected sixteen times. One publisher even noted the story was barely worth reading because, “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Sure, it launched an empire that resulted in the sale of 450 million books and some of the highest grossing films of all time, but if Rowling wasn’t so dedicated to the book’s first installment, none of that would have happened. That’s because she received eight rejection letters before Bloomsbury agreed to print the story. Really though, the true credit in this tale goes to Alice Newton, the eight-year-old daughter of the publisher’s chairman, who read the first chapter and insisted her father get a hold of the rest of the story as soon as possible.

Ottoman Empire FTW!

Ninety male and female Somalis will come to Turkey to be trained on how to raise livestock, use tractors and other agricultural equipment, manage complexes, slaughter animals and fish as part of efforts of the Turkish Agriculture Ministry for its “Somali Action Plan.”

“No word is sufficient to describe the agony there,” Erdoğan said while addressing the 66th session of the General Assembly of United Nations last month. He said Turkey’s approach to Somalia was grounded firmly in humanitarian principles. “Along with emergency humanitarian aid, Turkey is also determined to help build the infrastructure facilities that will enable this country to stand on its feet.”


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Thoughts & prayers to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey. Güçlü kalmak!

Qatar revealed as the world’s biggest contemporary art buyer.

The small but energy-rich Gulf state of Qatar is the world’s biggest buyer in the art market—by value, at any rate—and is behind most of the major modern and contemporary art deals over the past six years, The Art Newspaper can reveal.

Working through a number of advisors, as well as buying directly from dealers and at auction, Qatar is reliably believed to be building up a top-class collection of modern and contemporary art. Credit due to Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani — the 27-year-old daughter of the Emir of Qatar and a driving force behind the country’s art buying.

Among the purchases Qatar is believed to have made are:

The “Merkin Rothkos”: A $310m deal saw 11 Rothkos sold by court order to an “unidentified buyer” in 2009. They came from the collection of financier J. Ezra Merkin, who is being sued in New York over his role as provider of funds to convicted Ponzi-scheme fraudster Bernard Madoff; the collection was the largest private holding of Rothkos in the world. They were subsequently exhibited at the Garage Centre in Moscow, leading to rumours that they had been bought by the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, which was strenuously denied. Two very well placed sources maintain that they have gone to Qatar.

The Sonnabend estate: $400m worth of art from the estate of the famous art dealer, comprising major works by Lichtenstein and Koons. The deal was negotiated privately in 2007-08, going to GPS; multiple sources identified its client as Qatar.

The Claude Berri dation: A group of nine works by Ryman, Reinhardt, Morandi, Serra and Fontana was promised to the Pompidou Centre in Paris in lieu of tax. But the heirs of the film ­director finally sold them for about €50m to Qatar; he did not deny this but said “the reality was less exotic than the French press said at the time”.

Andy Warhol’s The Men in Her Life, 1962, which sold for $63.4m at Phillips de Pury in New York in November 2010, in a sale ­orchestrated by Philippe Ségalot. He insists that the work was acquired by a US buyer. But a source who bought regularly from Ségalot said that sales often went through his US company, so while the buyer was technically American, the end owner could be of any nationality.

US statistics indicate that cultural exports to Qatar totalled $428,162,894 in the period 2005 to April 2011, with a spike of $250.5m in 2007, the year Qatar bought the “Rockefeller Rothko, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Laven­der on Rose), 1950, for $72.8m. From 2005 to 2011 (first four months), Qatar imported £128,237,671 worth of paintings and antiques over 100 years old from the UK (over £21m for paintings and over £87.1m for antiques), according to trade statistics. Qatar bought Damien Hirst’s Lullaby Spring, 2002, for £9.2m at auction in London in 2007.

As well as these major acquisitions, Qatar has been buying widely at lower levels and in ­other fields. It spent £555,000 on William Hoare of Bath’sPortrait of Diallo, 1733, (export denied from the UK; on loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London), and $2.3m on Mahmoud Said’s Les Chadoufs, 1934 (now in Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha).


Homage to Yves Klein.

Takashi Murakami will be returning to Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin to show his latest collection of original works entitled Homage to Yves Klein. These new works are inspired by post-war European artist, Yves Klein, who was known for leading the Nouveau réalisme movement.

Nouveau réalisme (new realism) refers to an artistic movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany and the painter Yves Klein during the first collective exposition in the Apollinaire gallery in Milan. Pierre Restany wrote the original manifesto for the group, titled the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism," in April 1960, proclaiming, "Nouveau Réalisme—new ways of perceiving the real."This joint declaration was signed on 27 October 1960, in Yves Klein's workshop, by nine people: Yves Klien, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany,Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the Ultra-Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé; in 1961 these were joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, then Niki de Saint Phalle and Gérard Deschamps.

The members of the nouveaux réalistes group tended to see the world as an image from which they could take parts and incorporate them into their works—as they sought to bring life and art closer together. They declared that they had come together on the basis of a new and real awareness of their "collective singularity", meaning that they were together in spite of, or perhaps because of, their differences. But for all the diversity of their plastic language, they perceived a common basis for their work; this being a method of direct appropriation of reality, equivalent, in the terms used by Pierre Restany, to a "poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality".

----- Wikipedia

These new art works are a departure from the usual super colorful and anime inspired paintings. The monochromatic paintings shows off rich textures and they are produced in various key tones. All of the works can be seen in real life from this Thursday, October 20th until next year, so there is no excuse for missing this if you are in Paris.

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Three Women Activists from Liberia and Yemen

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to three champions of women’s rights: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman. The women were rewarded “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” according to a Nobel Committee.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said they hoped that by recognizing the efforts of these women, they would “help to bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries, and realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.”

Ellen Johnson Sirleafis, of Liberia, is Africa’s first democratically elected female president. Since her inauguration in 2006, she has pushed forward with peace efforts in Liberia based on promoting economic and social development led in part by women.

Leymah Gbowee mobilized women across divided ethnic and religious lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure that women were allowed to participate in elections. She has since worked to enhance the influence of women since the end of the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.

Tawakkul Karman has played a leading part in the struggle for women’s right, democracy, and peace in Yemen.