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    ADAGIO_CON_BRIO   139,498
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Job Application letter

Friday, March 15, 2013


80 years ago today Eudora Welty wrote this letter to the NEW YORKER Magazine. They turned her down, inexplicably.
So if you have been rejected or are rejecting yourself, then know this: after the "no" can follow many yeses of all varieties. What a delightful young lady she seems to have been and I know she was a delightful old lady too.


March 15, 1933

Gentlemen,

I suppose you'd be more interested in even a sleight-o'-hand trick than you'd be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can't have the thing you want most.

I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930-31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia's School of Business. Actually I am a southerner, from Mississippi, the nation's most backward state. Ramifications include Walter H. Page, who, unluckily for me, is no longer connected with Doubleday-Page, which is no longer Doubleday-Page, even. I have a B.A. ('29) from the University of Wisconsin, where I majored in English without a care in the world. For the last eighteen months I was languishing in my own office in a radio station in Jackson, Miss., writing continuities, dramas, mule feed advertisements, santa claus talks, and life insurance playlets; now I have given that up.

As to what I might do for you I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15 movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse's pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards.

Since I have bought an India print, and a large number of phonograph records from a Mr. Nussbaum who picks them up, and a Cezanne Bathers one inch long (that shows you I read e. e. cummings I hope), I am anxious to have an apartment, not to mention a small portable phonograph. How I would like to work for you! A little paragraph each morning a little paragraph each night, if you can't hire me from daylight to dark, although I would work like a slave. I can also draw like Mr. Thurber, in case he goes off the deep end. I have studied flower painting.

There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay's Congo. I congo on. I rest my case, repeating that I am a hard worker.

Truly yours,

Eudora Welty
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOOTER4263 3/18/2013 8:18PM

    If she's eighty years old today, how did she get her B.A. in 1929? She would have been (Lawd, arithmetic is not my long suit)...let's see... wait, that was four years before she was born? Something's wrong here...

Anyway, great letter, and point well taken.

Ah, wait! I see! My mistake! She wrote the *letter* 80 years ago!

*face palm*

Comment edited on: 3/18/2013 8:19:30 PM

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BECKYQUIGLEY 3/16/2013 10:46PM

    I love this! She was an amazingly gifted woman. Thanks for sharing!

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JBELICIOUS5 3/16/2013 2:36PM

    emoticon too funny!

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DOOBRIE 3/16/2013 8:55AM

    What a great job application letter!

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SPARKCHANTAL 3/16/2013 4:30AM

    i'd have hired her on the spot.
times do change.

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LIBBYL1 3/16/2013 1:12AM

  wonderful letter.....

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1SALMON1 3/16/2013 12:57AM

    Oh delight! Thank you for sharing this!

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BOPPY_ 3/16/2013 12:18AM

    Eudora Welty is the namesake of the independent email client -- Eudora.

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Lee emoticon

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MONETRUBY 3/15/2013 10:20PM

    Makes me think of the (possibly apocryphal?) judgment concerning a young Fred Astaire: "Can't sing. Can't act. Can dance a little." Shows you how much the *experts* know, huh?

Welty is one of my favorite writers, and I love the spunk she showed in her letter.

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NORWOODGIRL 3/15/2013 8:59PM

    Can't imagine why they didn't hire her! Love the letter emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 3/15/2013 6:13PM

    A classic amongst "the one that got away" stories - s/he is probably gone now, but somewhere there must've been an editor who cringed every time Welty's name came up.
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FREELADY 3/15/2013 4:09PM

    You made my day! Delightful!

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ILOVEMALI 3/15/2013 3:57PM

  Love this. I will remember this as I start job hunting!

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POPSY190 3/15/2013 3:27PM

    So reflective of a vibrant personality! Loved it.

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/15/2013 2:25PM

    Can't believe it wasn't their style. I'm fond of Thurber's drawings. That's a long time ago. Great blog. Hope you have more success than EW

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KATYDID412 3/15/2013 12:33PM

    Oh, fantastic. Love her.

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DR1939 3/15/2013 12:11PM

    Oh, if only they had known! Have you seen her book of photos? Absolutely amazing.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/15/2013 12:10PM

    Loved the application. LOL.

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