150
Wallace, David Foster
Estimate
20,00030,000
JUMP TO LOT
150
Wallace, David Foster
Estimate
20,00030,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana

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New York

Wallace, David Foster
Collection of 8 letters, 4 postcards, one circulating manuscript, and an advance presentation copy of The Broom of the System. Together over 8 pages of correspondence (generally 8 ½ x 11 in; 328 x 215 mm). Predominantly handwritten, 5 letters retaining original mailing envelopes from Amherst College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, and Granada House, circa 9 June 1987 to 17 April 1996.
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Provenance

Provenance: JT Jackson 

Literature

Reference: See: Max, D.T. Every Love Story is a Ghost Story. New York: Viking, 2012

Catalogue Note

A decade of correspondence spanning the early stages of David Foster Wallace’s literary career between the author and his good friend JT Jackson – a fellow writer he met while pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Arizona. In this collection Wallace discusses formative experiences at the Yaddo artist colony, a several month stint in rehab at McLean Hospital and his subsequent time at the Granada halfway house (which would serve as a major inspiration for Ennet House Infinite Jest). While evidence of his struggles with substance abuse run throughout, this lot also chronicles the author’s growing success in the literary world, culminating the publication of Infinite Jest.

Also Included in this archive is a 2-page typescript of an unpublished short story "Shorn," written during Wallace's time at Arizona. In June of 2013, Sotheby’s sold an earlier archive of Wallace’s letters discussing the publication of The Broom of the System, and in December of 2013 a later collection which chronicled the decade preceding the author’s death.

Highlights include:  

9 June 1987: “God I must come off like a prick if people actually think I’m going to be mad about typos in a fucking letter. I shudder at the pomposity I must project. Do not sweat typos in letters. In fact don’t sweat them at all; even the idea of a “typographical error” functions off the (timeless, dude) disparity and disproportion between expectations&ambitions and achievements -- it’s  called being human. As in, “I’m only human.” Which is less modern than just Christian.

9 June 1987: “Pynchon is cool. I’m bummed at the thought that my stuff seems to focus on idea rather than character. I think that the former must be a subset of the latter, that Pynchon at his best pulls off the subsumption, and wish both to do the same and never again hear about his being an “influence” on me. Wait till you do something you’re pretty happy with and then hear it mentioned only w/r/t another writer you could not hope or ever want to equal, or resemble, and feel what I feel.

20 September 1987: “I’ve not written since I left Yaddo. I picked up a bit of a drinking problem there, and am currently grappling […] Paris Review finally bought “Little Exp. Animals,” which made Viking pretty happy. At this point I don’t really care.

23 April 1990: “It is very hard for me gettin clean. I was getting high soon after I moved here. By November my roommate had forced me into a drug/alcohol rehab. I’d been in school only 2 months, Rehab all but forced me into a halfway house, where I’ve been living since Thanksgiving. I will have 6 months next week […] I mostly read and work shit jobs and go to AA meetings, I am a broken man at 28. Poor me.   

17 April 1996: I’M OK. WAY MORE FUSS ABOUT THIS BOOK THAN I’D ANTICIPATED. ABOUT 26% OF FUSS IS WELCOME. AS YOU SAID YEARS AGO, ‘YUPPIES READ.’ THE TOUR IS TAPERING OFF -- I HAVE TO GO ON LIKE 4 MORE LITTLE TRIPS AND THEN IT’S DONE.

Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana

|
New York