Not too long ago we found ourselves with access to JSTOR and we thought, on a whim, we might finally nail down the long-running PMLA question.
Here again is what we know. We have a copy of a photograph of John from June 1968 and was told the copy of the Publication of the Modern Language Association, or PMLA, that he is holding contained one of his articles.
We have never been able to determine what article this was - be it one he had published elsewhere and that we already know about, or one we had no previous knowledge of. We have long assumed if it was an article we knew about that it was either "Variations on a Vase" or "An Anatomy of Abuses", both having been published in other journals. If it wasn’t one of those then we’ve been clueless as to what it could be.
So saddled with access to the PMLA’s 1960s archives we headed to those issues from 1968. Nothing. The image we have isn’t the best resolution so the exact date of the publication John is holding is still uncertain. We then did a search and the only mention of John we could find is what was already found from the September 1966 edition.
He could have certainly submitted an article for potential inclusion but the editors-that-be chose not to include it. Though he may have been a member of the Modern Language Association, we cannot find evidence he had anything published in their publication. Therefore we’re going to call this one a dud.