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Countée Cullen and “The Negro Number” of Palms

By Danielle Sigler

This is the second of a three-part series of posts highlighting the influence and work of Countée Cullen, a poet and editor during the Harlem Renaissance.

 

In the mid-1920s anthologies of African American writing found a receptive audience in the United States and abroad. The poetry magazine Palms embraced the trend and invited Countée Cullen to serve as guest editor of its “Negro Poets’ Number.” Read more

Fellows Find: National identity’s influence on Elizabeth Bowen’s imagination

By Eibhear Walshe

Eibhear Walshe, a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at University College Cork, came to the Ransom Center in 2014 to utilize the collection of Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen. Dr. Walshe’s publications include Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life (2006), Cissie’s Abattoir (2009), Oscar’s Shadow (2011),  and The Diary of Mary Travers (2014). In addition, Walshe has edited a selection of publications including Elizabeth Bowen Remembered (1999), The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Volume 4 (2002), and Elizabeth Bowen: Visions and Revisions (2008). His research was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment as part of the Ransom Center’s fellowship program. Read more

Fellows Find: Infinite Jest at 20

By Daniel Sinykin

Dan Sinykin, a visiting assistant professor at Grinnell College, visited the Ransom Center during the summer of 2014 to research his dissertation After the Boom: Apocalypse and Economics in American Literature of the Neoliberal Period. Sinykin was the recipient of a dissertation fellowship.

 

On February 23, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest turns 20. The novel was an instant hit and made Wallace a literary superstar—a winning reception that began with an innovative hype campaign on the part of the publisher, Little, Brown, which sent a series of postcards to thousands of reviewers and booksellers promising, among other things, “infinite pleasure.”

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Fellows Find: Revelations hidden on post-its, in book flaps, and in the margins of the papers in David Foster Wallace’s archive

By Stephen Burn

Stephen J. Burn, a Reader in American Literature after 1945 at the University of Glasgow, visited the Ransom Center during the spring of 2011 to research his book-in-progress, Neurofiction: the Contemporary American Novel and the Brain (Don DeLillo/ David Foster Wallace). Burn’s research was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.

 

When I first visited the Harry Ransom Center in August of 2008, I wasn’t looking for David Foster Wallace. I’d just finished revising a book that read Wallace alongside his contemporaries Jonathan Franzen and Richard Powers (Jonathan Franzen at the End of Postmodernism), and was putting together a blueprint for a new book that I planned to build out of the Center’s archive of Don DeLillo’s assorted drafts and research materials. Read more

David Foster Wallace and 20 years of Infinite Jest

By Megan Barnard

Twenty years ago, in February of 1996, Little, Brown and Company published David Foster Wallace’s (1962–2008) novel Infinite Jest. It was a bold undertaking for the firm to publish a complex, challenging novel that spans over 1,000 pages and contains hundreds of endnotes, many quite lengthy and all printed in very small type. The sheer size of the book required that it be sold for $30, an unorthodox price for any novel, let alone a second novel by a young, up-and-coming author. Read more