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

Notes filling a copy of "Players" by Don DeLillo, one of Wallace's favorite authors.
Image courtesy Harry Ransom Center
Notes filling a copy of "Players" by Don DeLillo, one of Wallace's favorite authors.

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.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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