Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I got my rejection email from the New Yorker today, and I was pretty darned excited. To my mind, this opens the floodgates of communication; it's the start of a long and fruitful exchange with the magazine, and in due time, I expect to hear from every one of the editors.
Perhaps the email was a bit terse, but they had a lot on their hands, what with the inauguration, financial chaos, Gitmo, and whatnot. No time to chat about the weather, know what I mean?
The email said my piece had "evident merit." At first, all I saw was the word "merit," and popped the cork on a cheap bottle of pink cava. But midway into my 9 a.m. celebration, it hit me: Strange coupling. I know what evident means, I know the definition of merit -- but isn't all merit pretty much evident? Or is there another rejection letter that claims hidden merit. Or evident crap. Further investigation required.
Google "evident merit," and you'll see there are lots and lots of us out there, flaunting our merit for all the New Yorker staff to see. We're a veritable club of evidently meritful analysts, satirists, poets, novelists. (I hope the others invite me to dinner sometime. I'll bet their booze is good.)
And while the editors of the New Yorker may think they've successfully buried my hopes and dreams under their heaping pile of evident merit, I'm pretty tenacious. My give and their takeback isn't over, no not by a long shot. Besides, I find it really handy these days that, when people ask me what I'm up to, I can honestly say, "Writing a piece for the New Yorker."