Dear Julien Poirier,

Thank you for writing.

We appreciate and understand the points you highlight about the font in the Ashbery and LeGaillard materials. Admittedly, we had not noticed any of what you mention—neither the implausibly exact consistency of the letter-strikes in each missive, nor the incongruousness of italics within a font as obsolescent as the one used by Robert LeGaillard. 

We had, though, noticed that there are no typewriter-key impressions on the paper. At first this struck us as odd. However, we quickly assumed the lack of impression was because we’d been sent Xerox copies of original typescripts. Authors often like to keep their originals, so that seemed a reasonable conjecture.

But now our suspicions have been given an added layer: We have begun to wonder, now that you have shown us that these are probably not manuscripts composed on actual typewriter, if both “John Ashbery” and “Robert LeGaillard” are cover names for one and the same author, however different the styles of writing evidently are. For it seems farfetched that we would receive two forgeries within such brief interval, with both composed on fake typewriter fonts.

But the major mystery remains, even if all the above—your font-sleuthing along with our hypotheses—is true. We have not yet had any denial by the actual John Ashbery (again, we have written him), and we have never heard of Robert LeGaillard (we request of anyone who has previously heard of him to please contact us). 

Indeed, now, given what you have revealed about the fonts, a new possibility, however unlikely most will probably judge it to be, arises: That the actually existing John Ashbery is the author of the poem and follow-up letter under his name and of the strange writing of “Robert LeGaillard.” 

Today we have received more writing by the latter. We will be publishing that soon.

Thanks for contacting us.

–Dispatches