University of Texas Buys David Foster Wallace Papers

DFW.jpg

The University of Texas at Austin announced today that it has acquired the papers of David Foster Wallace, the author who committed suicide in 2008.

According to the UT press release:

Highlights include handwritten notes and drafts of his critically acclaimed “Infinite Jest,” the earliest appearance of his signature “David Foster Wallace” on “Viking Poem,” written when he was six or seven years old, a copy of his dictionary with words circled throughout and his heavily annotated books by Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, John Updike and more than 40 other authors.

The university will keep the Wallace material at its Harry Ransom Center, an archive and library. The Ransom center also owns a Gutenberg Bible, papers from Don DeLillo, Graham Greene, Norman Mailer, and Carson McCullers, and Edgar Allan Poe’s writing desk.

The Ransom center reportedly sent Wallace a letter asking about his plans for his personal papers back when the author was still alive, though Wallace did not respond.

UT declined to say how much it paid to acquire the papers, presumably from Wallace’s widow, the painter Karen Green.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer