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PHANTASM JOHN L. DUSSEAU An Imaginary Episode in the Otherwise Orderly Life of the Wholly Fictional W. B. Slaughterhouse Company—with Apologies to and Borrowingsfrom a Great Comic Writer, James B. Thurber, Who Knew theJoys and Perus of Writing and ofPublishing A drama of correspondence. There is no action. The speeches of the characters all take the form of dictated letters. Time—quite a ways back. Manager, Permissive and Complimentary Division: Miss McGleam, please take a communication. Dear Dr. Rue: He is at Washington University . It gives me and my associates great happiness to establish publication of your book today comma Thursday. Look up the title in the catalog, Miss McGleam, and put it in. And we are sending off the six usual author's copies expedited with my personal congratulations and compliments. New paragraph. You may be assured that no economy has been spared in illustrative excellence and that your book is launched on its best possible foot forward, I am sure you will find the binding and other features dash equally ifnot more so dash handsomely embellished. New paragraph. If you wish additional books you may purchase these through my office at a highly advantageous discount which we graciously extend to our authors except when they employ them in contradistinction to federal and other agencies of the United States Government regulations. Believe me to be comma sincerely comma Justin S. Fink, Director, Permissive and Complimentary Division, W. B. Slaughterhouse Company. Miss McGleam: Mr. Fink, the only Rue book I can find in the catalog is Rue on Practical Breast-Feeding. (She blushes prettily.) Is that correct? Mgr. Per. and Comp. Div.: From Washington? Miss McGleam: Yes. This is a chapter from the author's forthcoming An Informal History ofthe W. B. Saunders Company that will not appear in the published volume. *Address: 609 Fox Fields Road, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010.© 1988 by the University of Chicago. AU rights reserved. 0031-5982/88/3102-0564$01.00 Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 31, 2 ¦ Winter 1988 \ 243 Mgr. Per. and Comp. Div.: Sounds right. Let 'er roll. The Editor: Miss Walker, write the usual congratulatory letter to Fy Rue on publication of his Practical Primatology. The price is twentyseven dollars. The Author: Miss Prime, please write to this Permissions man from Slaughterhouse. Dear Mr. Fink: Many thanks for your warm note of March third. I appreciate your good wishes. Paragraph. Unfortunately, several things have gone awry, but Fm sure they will all get straightened around in the end. Paragraph. First of all, I am at the University of Washington in Seattle and not at Washington University in St. Louis. But the people down there have gotten used to this occasional mix-up and have sent your letter and the package of books on to me here. Paragraph. While I am on this subject of addresses, you may want to know that I shall be leaving early in April for the meetings in Washington , D.C, where I will be staying for a month at 27 Eye Street. From there I shall go on to Africa for a year's study. There I can be reached at the University of Cape Town. My probable address will be 57 Smuts Boulevard in Cape Town. Paragraph. Meantime however, there is a little problem with the book itself. I have received six copies of a work called Practical Breast-Feeding by Miss Early Rue published by your company in 1921. Fortunately, I have had a chance to see my own book at the bookstore here and it looks very nice. Paragraph. I assume my six copies will arrive in due course. I shall need about fifty copies more for distribution to friends. These can be charged to my royalty account, as you generously suggest, and delivered to me here, for I shall not be leaving for another month. Paragraph. Ifyou have any further impulses to send me copies of Miss Rue's book begin parens a work admirable in itselfbut outside my own field of interests close parens send them to Africa. Things are a little crowded here. Gratefully yours. And, Miss Prime, send Rousseau at Slaughterhouse a nice thank-you for his...


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