To the Hiring Committee:
I have just finished my PhD in Bezalel Stern studies. It has taken seven years. Seven long years of examining the historical record, the relevant literature (some of it quite obscure), the history, and the genealogy. There is an entire chapter of my dissertation (working title: Bezalel Stern: A Life in Letters) focused on genealogy, composed solely of names, names found going through the various papers and ephemera of Bezalel Stern’s files, collections, and youthful meanderings.
Unfortunately, it is tough to find a job in Bezalel Stern studies. I have distributed my CV to all the top universities. Hearing nothing, I sent my CV, detailing my studies and my planned future works (working title: Bezalel Stern: The Later Years) to a number of second tier schools. Hearing nothing from them, I aimed for the bottom of the barrel, as they say.
And so I have come to you.
I know your department of cultural studies is fantastic, especially so for a school of your caliber. I know Marc Rodriguez—who received his PhD in Marc Rodriguez studies from Yale—is the forerunner in his field. And Alyson Bernstein-Cohenberg, I have no need to mention, is the leading figure in the movement to revitalize the heretofore neglected field of Alyson Bernstein-Cohenberg studies.
Yet, I have taken note, with more than a hint of surprise, that your university does not currently have a professor of Bezalel Stern studies.
This is, I regret to say, a terrible omission, as the work of Bezalel Stern studies has advanced significantly in recent years. In fact, one might say that Bezalel Stern studies is finally coming into its own. I believe that a professor well-versed in the field of Bezalel Stern studies will be a much needed addition to this university, and I hope that you will not consider me arrogant if I mention that I am, although a newly minted PhD, most likely the world’s expert on Bezalel Stern. I have examined the man’s papers in minute detail. Furthermore, I have been fortunate to have taped several oral histories from the man himself. One could say that I have seen into the mind of the man.
Of course, I cannot share too much here, as much of what I have discovered is currently in my dissertation, which is still seeking a publisher (we can speak about this, assuming I am hired). However, to share some tidbits: I am privy to the embarrassing moment in 1994 when a young Bezalel Stern shared a none-too-satisfying kiss (no tongue, hardly more than a brush of the lips) with a girl I will only call E.H. In a chapter of my dissertation entitled Sisyphean Triumphs, I detail the history of that short kiss—the closest the young Bezalel Stern came, I argue, to true love—and I argue that that kiss led to the foundation of the young poet. I extrapolate, you see, that that short kiss led to the creation and subsequent foundation of the artist as a young man.
I fear I have already given away too much. I am sure I will be able to reveal more at my in-person interview, which I look forward to scheduling with you shortly.
Your university, which rightfully strives to be a paragon of knowledge, is lacking in one thing: Bezalel Stern studies. I believe I am the man to fill this spot. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
P.S.: I have heard from the rumor mill that Nathaniel Edelman is also applying for a position at your university in Bezalel Stern studies. Having known Nathaniel since I was a boy, I would suggest you disregard his application and further disregard all the disreputable things he may tell you about Bezalel Stern, who is, indeed, a paragon of our time.