Letter to a Cornell Professor Explaining Radically Overdue Paper (Unpublished 1970)

Dear Professor Anderson:

I have not kept to my final promise of punctuality. Indeed, I have no doubt that you have already submitted a Failing grade to the University Registrar in return for my mischievous performance.

If, however, you retain any capacity whatsoever to sympathize, you will hasten to grant this enclosure at least cursory examination. The following pages are the culmination of two weeks of painfully independent speculation on things vocal and natural. (Initially, I consulted with Dan Chilowicz as to the theoretical approaches which would be most in character with the type of inquiry launched by the class this term. His surrender to a gnawing perplexity was a discouraging interruption of my labor.)

This project was at first an annoyance, then a silent fascination. I have seldom before imparted such intellectual and spiritual restraint. Eventually, of course, toward the close of the second essay, I break into a sort of philosophical sprint. Reviewing the entire feat before dashing home on the midnight bus for an intersession of merely two days, I am exhausted but merry.

I hope I can entertain you to the extent that you will be persuaded to render my efforts Incomplete (at least) rather than Failing.

Thank you very much.

Postscript: It didn’t work. I got an F.

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