Short Story Sent to the New Yorker

Many of you are aware that Eric Berne used several pen-names throughout his career. Lennard Gandalac was one that Berne used dating back to his days as an undergraduate at McGill University.

In late 1968, Eric Berne, using the name Lennard Gandalac, submitted a 12 page piece of fiction to The New Yorker magazine called The Revolt. The original manuscript was recently uncovered from the family archives. The first page is seen below:

First page of The Revolt by Lennard Gandalac, also known as Eric Berne

In an envelope postmarked January 13, 1969, the manuscript was sent back along with the following note:

Rejection letter from the New Yorker to Lennard Gandalac
At this point, Eric Berne was well known across the country and elsewhere as a brilliant psychiatrist and author. But he was new to fiction, having only published The Happy Valley just recently. Fiction was something he was not accustomed to. So this begs the question: was the story rejected because of poor writing or because Lennard Gandalac was an unknown?

 

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