Saturday, February 27, 2010

Evident Merit

The New Yorker electronically rejected my electronic submission thus:

We regret that we are unable to use the enclosed material, in spite of its evident merit. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider it.

The Editors

Should I take consolation from the phrase "evident merit"? Or is this what they write on all their rejections?


Watched another play-turned-into-film yesterday. Unlike Doubt, however, Proof shows fewer signs of its theatrical origin. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, who also wrote the screenplay. The film, directed by John Madden, is about genius and its anxieties. But it is so much more. It is about the responsibility and heartache of taking care of a crazy parent. It is about detaching one's identity and work from a famous and loved parent, and how that detachment feels like killing him. Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Hope Davis and Jake Gyllenhaal gave strong performances. In thinking about Doubt, I questioned the film's lack of doubt about the wrongness of pederasty. Despite its unambiguous name, Proof probes the grey areas of life that cannot be subjected to mathematical certainty.


Patricia Markert said...

Dear Jee,

Evident merit sounds more like a comment from a scoutmaster than a literary magazine. I associate merit with merit badges. So neutral. I have never had the nerve to submit to the almighty magazine, so I applaud your attempt and think you should try again.

Jee Leong Koh said...

They have not heard the last of me, evident merit or whatever.