"Those who think the editor is rejecting with some pleasure in hurting are entirely wrong."
Makes sense to me. Unless the editor is a sadist, of course, but I'm guessing most sadists wouldn't choose to edit a literary magazine just to torture writers. There are easier ways. :)
That quote is from the article What Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines. It is a very informative article on how to handle submitting to literary magazines. Like most things in marketing - and getting your stories published IS marketing, whether you want to admit it or not - in order to succeed, you need to understand the person you're trying to reach. You need to understand what motivates them (the editors, the development execs, the agents, the fresh-out-of-college script reader) to take action. I've been telling writers for years to pick the magazines they submit to wisely. If you know what they are looking for, then you can pull something from your story catalog that fits that publication. Don't write one story and blanket it all over the literary universe. Write many stories and send them to the appropriate places. If your stories are ready, your acceptance rate will increase dramatically. This doesn't mean you should write for a specific audience. Write whatever story YOU want to tell. THEN find the right interested party.
Also read the LA Times Jacket Copy Article about it.