David Foster Wallace Materials Related to “The Pale King” Now Open For Research

Sept. 27, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas —

Inside front cover of notebook for “The Pale King;” contains reading notes, clippings, and writings related to “The Pale King.” © David Foster Wallace Literary Trust.

Inside front cover of notebook for “The Pale King;” contains reading notes, clippings, and writings related to “The Pale King.” © David Foster Wallace Literary Trust.

Materials related to David Foster Wallace's posthumous novel "The Pale King" (April 2011) are now open for research at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

The materials related to "The Pale King" were acquired as part of the Wallace (1962–2008) archive in 2010 but were retained by publisher Little, Brown and Co. until after the book's publication and the subsequent publication of the paperback edition.

"The Pale King" materials fill six boxes and  include handwritten and typescript drafts, outlines, characters lists, research materials and a set of notebooks containing reading notes, names, snippets of dialog, definitions, quotations and clippings.

The materials have been organized according to a spreadsheet developed by Wallace's editor, Michael Pietsch. Pietsch, then-executive vice president and publisher of Little, Brown and Co., spent months reading through and organizing the material and found what he called "an astonishingly full novel, created with the superabundant originality and humor that were uniquely David's."

In conjunction with the publication of "The Pale King," the Ransom Center partnered with publisher Little, Brown and Co. to offer an online preview of materials from the archive in April 2011.

Because of anticipated demand for study of this collection, the Center requests that researchers inform the curatorial staff of their research plans in advance. To enable staff members to best serve researchers' needs, the Center asks that researchers include the dates of their planned visits and a brief description of the sections of the collection they expect to study.

High-resolution press images of these materials are available.

For more information, contact: Alicia Dietrich, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512 232 3667;  Jennifer Tisdale, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8949.