Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Dear Mr. Vonnegut

BUY THE LETTERS OF NOTE BOOK: UK / US
In 1949, just a few years after surviving the bombing of Dresden as a POW, 27-year-old aspiring author Kurt Vonnegut submitted a written account of the event to The Atlantic Monthly for consideration, along with two other pieces. Below is the rejection letter he later received from the publication's editor at the time, Edward Weeks.

Of course, Vonnegut's experience as a POW later served as inspiration for his 1969 novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.

A much-needed transcript follows. Image kindly supplied by Thomas Vance.


Image: Thomas Vance

Transcript
The Atlantic Monthly

August 29, 1949

Dear Mr. Vonnegut:

We have been carrying out our usual summer house-cleaning of the manuscripts on our anxious bench and in the file, and among them I find the three papers which you have shown me as samples of your work. I am sincerely sorry that no one of them seems to us well adapted to for our purpose. Both the account of the bombing of Dresden and your article, "What’s a Fair Price for Golden Eggs?" have drawn commendation although neither one is quite compelling enough for final acceptance.

Our staff continues fully manned so I cannot hold out the hope of an editorial assignment, but I shall be glad to know that you have found a promising opening elsewhere.

Faithfully yours,

(Signed, 'Edward Weeks')