February 09, 2006

Carol the Editor of Mad Hatters' Review wrote in answer to my inquiry about when my IF* would appear

this is what she wrote and what I wrote between her words in response

yes, monsieur F, i mean IF -- our fourth issue emerged mid January.

ah then my IF was not in the january issue --

your IF plus translations of French poets will be out mid May.

Ah IF will be in the may [or may not] issue -- it would be great if IF arrived on may 15 -- my birthday -- what a lovely cadeau it would be -- my IF in Mad Hatter Review --

plus i must start my interview with you within the next few weeks.

yes certainly -- but have you finished reading Federman's 13 novels and his 11 volumes of poetry ? you can skip the cacademic stuff --

i finally received your 9 body parts yesterday. it's making me want to write about my hair. my crazy impossible frizzy jewish hair. oy vay.

no no writing about hair is too cliche too in the open -- hair writing is out of style -- write about something more -- or shall I say -- more ~~~~~ private --

by the way I wrote another piece of my body -- my tongue -- maybe you want it for the may issue also - it would go well with my IF

i hope your beckett book is progressing nicely!

right now it is stranded because the fucking file in which it is being written keeps freezing on me -- and me -- a prehistoric asshole of computers -- I don't know how to fix that -- I keep losing beautiful stuff I wrote -- I need help -- that file is corrupted -- how the hell do you uncorrupt a file --

i wrote a wonderful story! i am terribly self-pleased. :-)

don't send it now -- I have no time to read anything - I am fighting Le Livre de Sam -- and beside that I'm going to UC Irvine tomorrow to give a lecture and a reading -- I need to concentrate

I am really terribly pleased that you are terribly self-pleased with the wonderful story you wrote

when I was taking creative writing at columbia the bigwheel writer who published in Esquire and The New Yorker kept saying to the class - -if you write something and you feel self-pleased with it throw the damn thing away --

well what he really meant is that you have written something which will certainly never be published in Esquire or The New Yorker

the funny thing I always felt self-pleased with the stuff I was writing for his creative writing workshop -- I suppose that's why The New Yorker keeps rejecting the stuff I send

but every time The New Yorker rejects one of the pieces I sent somebody scribbles something by hand on the rejection slip telling me try again next time -- telling me that this piece didn't make it but perhaps the next one -- telling me don't give up -- telling me there is hope for you -- telling so many things about the future of my writing I get confused -- and this has been going since the days of columbia university when in spite of the big wheel prof on the sly I send a story to Esquire -- I will never forget what was scribbled on the beautiful and sexy rejection slip -- great story but not scatological enough for us --

I couldn't believe that -- took me years to understand what that really meant - but when I understood that when I wrote Return to Manure but I am afraid to send a piece to Esquire they might find it too scatological

but to come back to the subject of self-satisfaction that must mean that this self-satisfaction I feel towards what I write is why I get rejection slips with something personal handwritten on it -- something that encourages me to go on -- and help me forget what that asshole creative teacher was saying

personally I think that it's when you say to yourself Oh what a piece of shit I've just written that you should quickly drop the piece of shit in the garbage can --

that's my advice to young writers for today

* What?

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