From The Desk of Mr. McFetridge

January 20, 2012

The following is a comment left in the “Rejecting Faulkner” thread by G.D. McFetridge, the essayist whose actions I took issue with in that post, and my response. Enjoy:

G. D. McFetridge says:

January 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Alex (who?),

You’re hardly worth the effort, but I’m bored. First of all, you don’t know who I am, I’m published under more than one name. Your shallow attack reveals more about you than me. Are you a republican, or just a cohort of FJ’s? The selective way in which you drew from my essay excluded any chance of your rant being objective, a rant clearly meant to elevate your little ego at my expense. Good for you. But you’re way out of the loop. “Show Us, Mr. Faulkner” was first published over ten years ago; in its various evolutions it has now been published 10 or 11 times, including the UK, where, unlike any of your work, it got high praise from John Jenkins. It also won an academic literary award in 2006 for the year’s best creative nonfiction. The editor of the “Harvard Review” said: “Although we do not have a place for your work in the upcoming issue, we thought your nonfiction essay stood out from the rest of the crowd.” Arkansas Review (Janelle Collins wrote: I found your submission, “Show Us, Mr. Faulkner,” a fascinating read … It’s well written and witty. And a fine reminder that journals exist because of writers and that each submission deserves the resepct of a careful reading.” In closing I want to thank you for adding to my celebrity, because of course the second best thing is good press, the best thing is bad! Just ask Charlie Sheen. Go to Temple and talk to someone, you’ll feel better about yourself. Oh, and by the way, how many of your essays have been published ten times? Love ya, sweetie, say hi to your wife, GD

GD,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing more of your wisdom with my readers. Taking the time out of the busy writing schedule your alter egos and pseudonyms are having, and all that.

Clearly my shallow attack on your person has failed. In my inadequate attempt to warp and subvert the meaning of your essay I foolishly linked to your actual essay. My idol FJ (whoever that is) will be sorely disappointed in me.

I’m glad to hear that you’ve had more success in shopping around your essay than your fiction. Having it published 10 or 11 times in as many years must’ve been quite a feat. Especially in the UK. Personally, I was only published in the UK once and I humbly concede that getting paid in Pound Sterling is quite nice.

I should have known better than to express my disagreement with your assertions on my blog. I’m definitely outmatched. From a mere 1000 word “rant” you’ve been able to draw conclusions about my political affiliation, religious beliefs and state of mind. If I could jump to conclusions like that perhaps one day I’d be eligible for an academic literary award, too.

I was especially impressed with the rejection letters you quoted to prove that you wrote a good essay. It was easy to convince me since I, too, stated in my “rant” that your essay was well-written. I had no issues at all with the style or wit of your article.

My issue was with the fact that you put your name on other authors’ work.

My issue was with you wasting the time of editors and slush readers and then calling them out for a totally subjective and personal decision of rejecting the manuscripts you sent them, under false pretenses.

And my biggest issue was with your conclusion that the system is rigged and that you can’t (or at least aren’t likely to) get published based purely on the merit of your writing. I strongly disagree with this assertion, which is why I chose to discuss your essay on my blog.

You did not address any of these points in your reply, choosing instead to concentrate on “winning” the debate, Charlie Sheen style, the crux of your argument being that I’m a nobody, and how dare I speak out.

Oh, and I actually feel quite good about myself, thanks for asking.

Alex