Letters to Dr. X

Christopher Bundrick shares an exchange of notes between an aspiring author and a journal editor.

October 23, 2006

Dear Dr. X:

Please find enclosed my article "Time, Inscrutability, and the Attempt to Measure Frustration in the Work of Heidegger." In it I try to reconceptualize some of the more accepted approaches to the topic and connect them to more theoretical arguments coming out of work like Dr Y's recent article "Turning 'Turn Around' Upside Down: Bakhtin, Nietzsche, and  Enigma of Time" and Dr. Z's landmark argument, "Sign, Signifier, Skulk:  Saussure's Empty Mailbox." Given your journal's long-standing interest in this issue, I believe that it is the best venue for my argument and I hope your readers agree.

Graduate Student A

Dear Graduate Student A:

This is to confirm
receipt of your manuscript.
We will evaluate

your work and inform
you of our decision as
soon as possible.

Thank you for thinking
of our journal for your work.
Blossoms fall like snow.

Dr. X

Dear Dr. X:

Thank you for your earlier reply. I'm still a little unclear on your process and was hoping you wouldn't mind if I asked another question.

I recently accepted a job that required me to move to another state. Since the forward order I left at my old address expired after a year I was concerned that your response to my essay, "Time, Inscrutability, and the Attempt to Measure Frustration in the Work of Heidegger" might have gotten lost in the mail. I've listed my new postal address and e-mail address below.

Assistant Professor A

Dear Assistant Professor A:

Thank you for your note.
Our readers are reviewing
your essay right now.

I'll check its status
when I return to campus
sunset in August.

Dr. X

Dear Dr. X:

I'm sure it's just me, but I'm confused by the August timeline you mentioned in you last email. Can I ask for further clarification on when to expect a response from you readers?

Recent changes in the tenure review process at my institution require that an article actually be in print before it can count toward tenure. As my third year review is coming up at the end of this semester, I was hoping to check on the status of my submission, "Time, Inscrutability, and the Attempt to Measure Frustration in the Work of Heidegger."  As you can imagine, it would be quite a boost to my file if I were able to list an article as "forthcoming" in your journal.

Assistant Professor A

Dear Assistant Professor A:

Spring beats a loud drum
As you might know, our student
office manager

he graduated
and as a result we have
quite a large backlog.

We are committed
to catching up by the end
of the semester

and I am quite sure
we will have a clear answer
for you by next month.

Dr. X

Dear Dr. X:

In the course of some research on the work of Professor Emeritus A I came across some correspondence that made me think your journal might know of an unpublished article of his entitled, "Time, Inscrutability, and the Attempt to Measure Frustration in the Work of Heidegger." As you probably know, Professor A's health will probably keep him from publishing in the future, something which makes this missing article even more important. I am collecting his papers in the hopes of publishing an edition of his essays and would be thrilled to include this one. I would appreciate any information regarding this essay you might be able to provide. I look forward to hearing from you.

Graduate Student C

Dear Graduate Student C:

As you know, May is,
of course, a very busy month
Call back on Monday.


Christopher Bundrick is an instructional assistant professor of English at the University of Mississippi.


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