Assorted David Foster Wallace Material

Alright, to go with the litany of Wallace review goodness I have been going on and on about lately (such as my reviews of Incarnations of Burned Children and Good Old Neon) I’m looking around seenig what I can find of Wallace related stuff recently posted to the Interwebs.

Flavorwire has an awesome posting, with a few very interesting (and entertaining) images in mentioning that Wallace’s personal archives have been obtained by the Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin. Seeing the loads of notes Wallace apparently filled margins and blank pages with in the books he read, I can’t help but feel a little inferior. Or just odd. Most people I know usually write something in the margins as they read, little notes and what not, but for whatever reason I could never bring myself to do it. There’s just something about writing inside of a book that was imprinted upon at a very early age as being very very wrong. Is it actually wrong? Probably not. But I’ve never been able to shake that programming.

Then there is the David Foster Wallace Audio Project, a website hoping to collect every audio recording Wallace has done. Notice, this is everything that isn’t for sale elsewhere, so if you’re looking for a free audiobook of Lobster, you’re going to have to look elsewhere đŸ™‚

The Awl has posted the earliest example of Wallace’s signature, on a poem he did when he was 6 that was about Vikings. Honestly, it’s cute. And his large vocabulary was already becoming evident. Kinda scary to think of a kid that young being able to write that poem.

Here’s a youtube of David Foster Wallace reading some of his work:

As you can see, his delivery is excellent. He was just an engaging reader who was easy to listen and whose work truly did seem to take on a new life when being read aloud.

Finally, here’s a google search for David Foster Wallace and the Charlie Rose Show. I was hoping to just post a couple of interview videos but after doing the search and seeing the rather larger than expected number of hits that came up, I figure it would do more good to just post the search. I’ve been in classes before where Professors have played interview clips of authors on the Charlie Rose Show and being strangely superior to Charlie Rose, as if the author is in some way slumming it to be going on an interview show and hawking his wares. And, in one of the interviews of Wallace, he does seem a bit uncomfortable with the interview but I think it might have just been a general discomfort with interviews in general. Personally, I think such things are a good forum and a positive for literature. Writers want to be of significance but part of that is putting themselves out there in the public eye in ways other than just their writing. Despite his stated reluctance for book signings, I think Wallace deserves some credit for at least putting himself out there on the interview circuit and the occasional readings throughout his life, something other prominant American writers (looking at you Pynchon) have been entirely reluctant to do unless with an animated paperbag over their heads.


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