DFW Gets Pissy With His Editors

I think Harper’s should publish it in the “Readings” section.

The deal is this. You’re welcome to this for READINGS if you wish. What I’d ask is that you (or Ms. Rosenbush, whom I respect but fear) not copyedit this like a freshman essay. Idiosyncracies of ital, punctuation, and syntax (“stuff,” “lightbulb” as one word, “i.e.”/”e.g.” without commas after, the colon 4 words after ellipses at the end, etc.) need to be stetted. (A big reason for this is that I want to preserve an oralish, out-loud feel to the remarks so as to protect me from people’s ire at stuff that isn’t expanded on more; for you, the big reason is that I’m not especially psyched to have this run at all, much less to take a blue-skyed 75-degree afternoon futzing with it to bring it into line with your specs, and you should feel obliged and borderline guilty, and I will find a way to harm you or cause you suffering* if you fuck with the mechanics of this piece.)



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What’s interesting is that if you look in the original article (reprinted at http://www.badgerinternet.com/~bobkat/kafka.html) and do a find/search for some of the things Wallace wanted stetted, they don’t show up. There is not a “lightbulb” or a “light bulb” in the piece, nor is there any “i.e.” or “that is.” The term “stuff” appears and “for example” is in place for “e.g.” I’m 50/50 on thinking that the letter could be some modern-day Wallace pseudepigrapha.

Oh, it’s not even signed by him either.

Scott– You may want to include this link in the the post, otherwise it just looks like a spurious letter: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/georgelazenby/4990804513/in/photostream/

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