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Not a Short-Story Writer Either

Great hilarious interview with a writing teacher of mine, Steve Dixon:

We had a love-hate relationship, George Plimpton and I. They took that first story of mine, and then I got another letter from them saying that they were taking another story. I didn’t hear from him for another year and a half. Then I sent him a part of a novel for their Paris Review editions. I didn’t hear from him. So I was living in New York, in 1968, as a schoolteacher–very poor–and I kept calling and calling the Paris Review. At that time you kept getting this phone service. I said I want to know what the hell happened to that story I sold you. The woman took the message, and they didn’t call back. At that time, I got tired of saying Steve Dixon called, so I told them I was Menashe Skulnick, a famous Yiddish comedian. I didn’t get a call back, so two weeks later I called. The woman asked who it was; I said I was Howard Duff. He played Sam Spade on the radio. She said, “Oh, I know how to spell that, Mr. Duff! I saw him with Ida Lupino on Broadway yesterday!” So I go to school, and the next night I come home, Lola, who I was living with, said that George Plimpton called and he asked for Howard Duff. I called him up and told him I was Steve Dixon. Then the next day I got a letter from Plimpton by express mail saying, “Not only are you not a novelist, but you’re probably not a short-story writer either.” That’s the exact quote.

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