January 24, 2005
An Open Cover Letter To the Editors of The Paris Review
I was sorry to hear about the recent loss of your editor, Brigid Hughes. All consolations aside, may I suggest my own editorial services to the rescue?
Much like your former editor George Plimpton, my many urbane acquaintances would describe me as possessing the bonhomie and ruddy good cheer of any chronic tippler, whilst still maintaining adequate compos mentis to run the football pool on a Sunday afternoon.
Unlike Mr. Plimpton, however, who forever played the "professional amateur," I am a "consummate professional." Could Mr. Plimpton program basic HTML? I can. Did he boast a proficiency in Excel Spreadsheets and the rest of the Microsoft Office suite? I boast. And I can safely assume that my WPM’s far outstrip Mr. Plimpton on even his best days.
To put it bluntly – I am not possessed of the terminal wanderlust that so plagued Mr. Plimpton. Nor do I possess any aspirations to play the jack-off-of-all-trades: I have no interest in getting in the ring with Archie Moore. I have neither the interest nor the talent to write the Great American Oral Biography. In short I have few, if any, interests – a valuable asset when it comes time to meet the bruising deadlines of a literary quarterly.
If and when I do pursue my acting career, I will serve as a far better representative for The Paris Review than Mr. Plimpton did in the failed Tom Hanks vehicle Volunteers.
When I served as Editorial Intern for Harper’s in the summer of ’97, my dedication to fact-checking the trademarked Index was responsible for the eventual publication of several scathing statistics that concerned federal budget allocations. My recent experience in posting to low culture has presumably prepared me for other things, things of which Mr. Plimpton could only have dreamed. Did Mr. Plimpton post to low culture? I’m fairly certain he didn’t.
As for meeting (and exceeding) the qualifications of your most recent editor, let’s just put it this way: I can urinate standing up.
I am available to move into Mr. Plimpton’s apartment effective March first (when my sublet ends). I look forward to speaking with you about this opportunity.
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