On David Foster Wallace’s Birthday, Consider the Ransom Center

Feb 21, 2012

Today, Feb. 21, marks what would have been the 50th birthday of David Foster Wallace.

The postmodern author – famous for his sprawling novel Infinite Jest, and collections of essays and reports – would be 50 years old today. Suffering from depression, Wallace took his life in 2008.

A notable Austin connection to Wallace comes in the form of the Harry Ransom Center, which acquired Wallace’s archives in 2010. A complete list of the materials in the archive can be found here.

While a reservation must be made to view the archive materials, much of it has been incorporated online. The archive includes a manuscript for Wallace’s unfinished, posthumously published novel The Pale King, books from his library filled with marginalia, and a dictionary filled with words circled by the famously verbose author.