Always amused at those "Trending" lists featured on various internet search engines. Really? This is what everyone is searching? So where do I find trending lists more suitable for a print junkie, a word geek? Google Reader. And what has my aggregator been screaming for three days? David Foster Wallace. Because the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin has acquired his archive.
"The archive contains manuscript materials for Wallace's books, stories and essays; research materials; Wallace's college and graduate school writings; juvenilia, including poems, stories and letters; teaching materials and books.
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.
Materials for Wallace's posthumous novel "The Pale King" are included in the archive but will remain with Little, Brown and Company until the book's publication, scheduled for April 2011."
Many are noting that for an author believed by many to fly by the seat of his pants, Wallace had very detailed notes and revisions of his major works. Some have observed that the personal annotations in his books reflect both his genius and his lack of restraint, discipline. The former observations interest me but the latter do not. What I see is something very touching, very inspiring. Intriguing. That mind. Tell me, do your text annotations look anything like these? This is a person completely wrapped and tied in his love of words. Fascinating to see the reader behind the writer.
More at these sites: