full name / name of organization: 
Richard Burt and Craig Saper
contact email: 

Call for Essays for "Press (R)eject" special issue of
issue 20 (Winter 2009/2010)

Co-edited Richard Burt and Craig Saper, co-operators of the
Rejectionist Movement

Richard Brooks, director of Faber & Faber in 1944, rejected George
Orwell's Animal Farm. Twenty five years later, The Times published the
rejection letter he wrote to Orwell. It was described as an
"extraordinary document." Walter Benjamin's infamous rejections by
editors and publishers had serious consequences; some have suggested
it was a matter of life and death. Yet the literary, cultural, and
historical value of rejection letters has received little serious
attention, partly due to their lack of availability because of

Benjamin wrote that a sense of personal embarrassments is often a
productive occasion for criticism. Purge yourself of your
embarrassing rejections.

As a way of historicizing rejection, we invite authors to follow
Benjamin's lead and send us their own rejection letters, historical
rejection letters, and essays about the theoretical and historical
machinations of press rejections to be published in a special issue of
_Rhizomes_, co-edited by Burt and Saper, co-operators of the
Rejectionist Movement.

We invite essays from the author's point of view, the editor's, and
the mss. reader's. The theoretical issues may address the language of
rejection letters: "submission," "revise and
resubmit," "blind submission." Essays may also examine what rejection
means, how it differs from failure, data loss, deletion of data, and
other kinds of necessary [self]destruction; how it resembles romantic
rejection, abandonment, dejection, abjection, and so on since we are
what, and how, we write.

Perhaps this paraphernalia of publishing -- anacoluthon, supplement, a
(discarded) remainder of the process -- functions like a structuring
absence. Perhaps rejection letters mark the bridge between the current
interest in archival research (David Kasten, Pete Stallybrass et al)
and the sociopoetic theories of cultural production (D. LaCapra, M.
Bal, etc).

Please send us your rejections in the form of essays approximately
7-8k words, including notes, by September 1, 2009 at and