Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Foster Wallace Collection:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Wallace, David Foster, 1962-2008
Title: David Foster Wallace Collection
Dates: 1993-2010
Extent: 3 document boxes, 1 oversize folder (osf) (1.26 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection consists of David Foster Wallace related acquisitions that illuminate both personal and professional activities of the author and academic.
Language: English
Access: Access: Open for research

Acquisition: Acquisition: Gifts and purchases, 2010-2011 (10-04-009-P, 10-04-010-G, 10-07-002-G, 10-10-011-G, 11-01-011-P, 11-11-006-P, 11-12-004-G, 13-07-009-G, 14-08-007-G
Processed by: Processed by: Stephen Cooper, 2011
Repository: :

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

This collection consists of David Foster Wallace related acquisitions that illuminate both personal and professional activities of the author and academic. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order and date from 1993 to 2010.
Photocopies of Wallace's completed "usage ballots" for the American Heritage Dictionary. Wallace was a member of the company's board that governs decisions on usage, spelling, pronunciation, etc. Donated by Steve Kleinedler (10-04-010-G).
Items related to "Democracy and Commerce at the U.S. Open," an article Wallace wrote for Tennis magazine in 1995, including correspondence with Jay Jennings, senior editor at Tennis. Acquired from Jay Jennings (10-04-009-P).
A photocopy of a typed letter from Wallace to Brandon Hobson in which he gives writing advice to the 22-year-old Hobson, comparing and contrasting his own experiences at that age. Donated by Brandon Hobson (10-07-002-G).
Nine annotated copies of the essay "Host" for the Atlantic Monthly, from a heavily marked early draft to a "final final" draft. With a photocopied letter from Wallace to Martha Spaulding of the Atlantic, a brief note from Spaulding explaining the editorial process, and a "Semi mini style sheet for DFW." Donated by Martha Spaulding (10-10-011-G).
A faxed typescript draft of Infinite Jest. Acquired from Royal Books (11-01-011-P).
Primarily Wallace correspondence (1997-2005), including a Christmas card from Wallace to "D. M." [David Markson?], a note from Wallace to unidentified recipient, a letter from Nicholas Raftopoluous to Wallace with Wallace's reply written on the letter, two photocopied postcards from Wallace to Peyton Watson, and one photocopied letter from Watson to Wallace. Also includes two items of ephemera signed by Wallace. Donated by Bernard Peyton Watson (11-12-004-G).
An unpublished typescript essay titled Pearls & Swine by Wallace, written at the request of James Harmon, who wrote to well-known individuals requesting that they respond to the prompt, "If you could offer the young people of today one piece of advice, what would it be?" Harmon published the responses in 2002, although Wallace's essay was not included. Includes Harmon's original request letter to Wallace, two letters from Wallace to Harmon, and the related Ballantine contract with a handwritten change by Wallace. Acquired from Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Inc. (11-11-006-P).
A limited-printing poster (2010) created by Sam Potts of a diagram of characters in Infinite Jest. Donated by Sam Potts (13-07-009-G).
A postcard (2006) from David Foster Wallace to Nicholas Martin in which he encourages Martin to find a penpal in an institution. "I'm not kidding," writes Wallace. Donated by Nicholas Martin (14-08-007-G).
Further acquisitions of Wallace related materials are expected.

Additional Wallace materials at the Ransom Center are located in the David Foster Wallace Papers, the Bonnie Nadell Collection of David Foster Wallace, the Don DeLillo Papers, the Steven Moore Collection of David Foster Wallace, the Little, Brown and Company Collection of David Foster Wallace, and and the James Linville Paris Review Collection.